(Image Credit :hollywwodreporter.com)
One can’t really expect anything less than an over-the-top carnival for the opening of Rio 2016 and so it was in true Brazilian fashion as percussions reverberated through the Maracana Stadium in Rio to officially open the 2016 Olympics.
The opening ceremony spectacle of Rio 2016 Summer Olymoics. (Image Credit : hollywoodreporter.com)
In a minor glitch just hours before the opening, protestors took to burning the Brazilian flag. In response, police resorted to using tear gas to disperse the crowd, which if left unchecked would have marred the opening of Rio 2016. And so audiences around the world were temporarily distracted from all the problems plaguing Rio 2016 the likes of the Zika virus, water pollution problems of Guanabara Bay where the Games’ watersport events would mostly be held, crime and other security issues, on top of Brazil’s high-profile financial and political woes.
Here are the highlights to take away from the opening ceremony of Rio 2016.
Brazil’s most famous supermodel, Giselle Bundchen, made a catwalk entrance in a glittery gown with a thigh-high split designed by fellow Brazilian Alexandre Herchcovitch, sashaying to (what else but) the bossa nova strands of The Girl From Ipanema
Gisele Bundchen in all her glistening glory. (Image Credit :popsugar.com)
Aside from all the glamour that Gisele Bundchen brought to the opening, the overarching message of saving the planet was showcased. This call to protect the environment culminated with acclaimed British and Brazilian actresses Judi Dench and Fernanda Montenegro reading a poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade and a hopeful visual scene of a seedling emerging from a concrete jungle.
Rio 2016 says 'Save the planet'. (Image Credit :abc.net.au)
The Music & Dancing
The national anthem was delivered by samba star Paulinho da Viola dressed in a bright blue suit with an accompanying string section. Adding to the samba, bossa nova and funk medley in Rio 2016’s musical indulgence were 12-year-old rapper MC Soffia partnering Karol Conká in a hip-hop duet donning flamboyant outfits. Later, Brazilian icon Zeca Pagodinho shared the stage with Rio native Marcelo D2.
The sights and sounds at Rio 2016. (Image Credit :hollywoodreporter.com)
All this segued into a dancing frenzy across the stadium as Jorge Ben Jor belted out Pais Tropical
, joined by hundreds of dancers in a highly-charged exuberant choreographed number. This set the crowd off as they went wild cheering in celebratory fever.
Stunning scenes at Rio 2016 opening ceremony. (Image Credit :hollywoodreporter.com)
The Olympic Flame
The Olympic flame was carried by tennis icon Gustavo Kuerten, who handed it to basketball great Hortência Marcari before it was passed to long-distance runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, who did the honours of lighting the Olympic cauldron for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Let the games begin at Rio 2016. (Image Credit :hollywoodreporter.com)
The Parade Of Nations
Catching everyone’s attention was Tonga flagbearer Pita Nikolas Taufatofua, a 32-year-old taekwondo competitor, appearing shirtless with a super well-oiled torso. Hot man of the hour.
The Tonga flagbearer who caught everyone's attention. (Image Credit :ew.com)
But what has been circulating on news headlines was the first all-refugee team in Olympic history. Rightly so, the Refugee Olympic Team got a standing ovation as spectators paid homage to their courage.
What celebration would be complete without the mandatory firework display. And so it was a colourful explosion when the fireworks went off at Rio 2016 and the sky lit up by pyrotechnics made for a true visual extravaganza.
The pyrotehnics at Rio 2016. (Image Credit :bigstory.ap.org and hollyreporter.com)
Not forgetting our Malaysian contingent at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, led by flagbearer Datuk Lee Chong Wei. What a proud moment!
The full opening ceremony highlights of Rio 2016 Summer Olympics with commentary in Bahasa Malaysia.