Rio Olympics 2016, Opening Ceremony as it happened: Games declared open

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Rio Olympics 2016, Opening Ceremony as it happened: Games declared open
  • 08:42 (IST)

    That's it from us here! Hope you enjoyed our coverage. We will be back again at 5.30 IST bringing you updates of day one of Rio Olympics 2016.

  • 08:27 (IST)

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    Marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lights the cauldron. The flame is here and the games are here. A spectacular opening ceremony comes to an end with dazzling fireworks.

  • 08:19 (IST)

    Brazilian tennis legend Gustavo Kuerten carries the Olympic Flame into the Maracana Stadium. 

  • 08:02 (IST)

    Brazil's interim President Michel Temer declares the games open but boos ring out inside Maracana 

  • 07:49 (IST)

    Bach to Refugee Olympic team: "Dear Refugees, you bring a message of hope to others"

  • 07:47 (IST)

    Bach: "In this Olympic world we are all equal".

  • 07:46 (IST)

    IOC president Thomas Bach: "In this Olympic world we are all equal". 

  • 07:40 (IST)

    Nuzman: Rio is ready to make history.

  • 07:39 (IST)

    "We never give up," says Nuzman and the cheers come back.

  • 07:37 (IST)

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    Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzman: Brazil welcomes the world with open arms. I am proud of my city, my country. Lets celebrate together. These are your games, the first in South America. 

  • 07:27 (IST)

    Emotions flowing!

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    And finally, we have the host nation Brazil led by Yana Marques. A standing ovation and deafening cheer. There is dance, there is music and there are synchronised claps. 

  • 07:22 (IST)

    The Olympic Refugee teams is greeted with loud cheers as they make their way out to the middle.

  • 07:17 (IST)

    Tuvalu led out by the only athlete - Etimoni Timuani - a sprinter specialising in 100 mts. They have the smallest contingent in 2016 Rio Olympics.

  • 07:08 (IST)

    Yay! We finally got a picture of Abhinav Bindra leading India out! Nikhila's perseverance paid off.

  • 07:05 (IST)

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    A few boos and some cheers ring around as the Russian contingent arrives.

  • 06:52 (IST)

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    Shooter Ghulam Mustafa Bashir leads out Pakistan. 

    A little trivia - This is the first time ever that their hockey team hasn't qualified for the Olympics.

  • 06:36 (IST)

    Badminton world no.1 Lee Chong Wei, the winner of two Olympic silvers, leads Malaysia out. 

  • 06:24 (IST)

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    The moment we were all waiting for. Abhinav Bindra leads India out. This is the largest ever Indian contingent at Olympics. 

  • 06:14 (IST)

    Andy Murray finally leads the Great Britain contingent out. The happiest people - BBC Sport! 

  • 06:13 (IST)

    That Nadal love!

  • 06:11 (IST)

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    And the most successful Olympian of all time, MichaelPhelps, leads USA into the Maracana. 

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    Another huge roar as Spain is led out by Rafael Nadal.

  • 05:56 (IST)

    Former world No. 1 tennis player Caroline Wozniacki leads out Denmark.  

  • 05:50 (IST)

    My Colleague Nikhila informs me - India will be the 95th contingent in the parade of the nations.

  • 05:44 (IST)

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    A huge roar echoes inside the Maracana as Canada contingent arrives.

  • 05:43 (IST)

    It's Cameroon's turn now - Football gold medalist in 2012 London Olympics.

  • 05:39 (IST)

    And there you go! Bermuda in their traditional shorts. Super stuff!

  • 05:38 (IST)

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    The legend's in the house! 

  • 05:32 (IST)

    Here come 9 Kuwait athletes competing under the flag of International Olympic committee.

  • 05:30 (IST)

  • 05:27 (IST)

    Next in line - Andorra and Angola! These nations are then followed by Antigua and Barbuda. 

  • 05:26 (IST)

    After Greece, Afghanistan, South Africa, Albania and Germany made their way into the stadium. 

  • 05:24 (IST)

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    Regardless of the language of the host country, Greece comes first. Followed by nations in alphabetical order in the local language.

  • 05:23 (IST)

    The Afghanistan contingent arrives. They are just 3 of them but the spirits seem high.

  • 05:22 (IST)

    This is the moment they were waiting for. The athletes arrive. Greece is the first into the Olympic nations. The athletes will parade through the centre of the stadium now.

  • 05:19 (IST)

    There you go! The Indian contingent in full force ahead of the opening ceremony tonight.

  • 05:13 (IST)

Preview: There's nothing like the unique Brazilian vibe — and the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will see no shortage of samba, culture, diversity and history as the South American nation proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders.

Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil.

Fireworks are tested for the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium. AP

Fireworks are tested for the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium. AP

The event won't focus on issues that are gripping Brazil — a president facing impeachment, a deep recession and environmental threats. But organizers made sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country's magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the Olympic opening ceremony.

"The world is very tense and so is Brazil. We are also willing to tell the world to stop attacking our home. The world is threatened because of global warming. We are calling for action," said Fernando Meirelles, one of the directors of the show.

Samba and pop music singers are expected to perform, including Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand.

But Brazil's most famous athlete — soccer star Pele — will not appear. He said this week he was invited to take part, but business deals were stopping him from participating. That leaves intact the Olympic mystery of who might light the cauldron.

The cauldron was designed by American sculptor Anthony Howe, who told The Associated Press he was inspired by life in the tropics. There will be two cauldrons in Rio, one at the Maracana soccer stadium that is hosting the opening ceremony and another open to the public in downtown Rio.

The cauldron in central Rio is expected to be lit by a runner after the opening ceremony is finished, Howe said.

The floor of the stadium will be a vast stage for projections, a substitute for more expensive structures in a nod to Brazil's economic troubles.

In all, 4,800 performers and volunteers will be involved in the show, which is built on three basic pillars of life in Brazil. Those are sustainability, particularly re-forestation; finding joy in life and in being Brazilian; and the idea of "gambiarra," the quirky Brazilian art of improvising repairs using whatever parts are available.

"Smile is the approach the Brazilians have toward life," said Marco Balich, the executive producer. "Brazil is not a grand nation. They're saying in this ceremony, we are who we are, with a lot of social problems, a lot of crises in the political system, etc."

Space limitations in the Maracana also curbed the creative possibilities for the show. The stadium does not have typical Olympic dimensions — there is no track. The only Olympic events it is hosting are soccer matches.

NBC will broadcast the opening ceremony on a one-hour tape delay because it wants the entertainment spectacle to be shown completely in U.S. prime time. Rio is one hour later than Eastern time.

Unpopular interim Brazilian President Michel Temer is expected to attend the opening ceremony. He will be replacing his ally-turned-enemy, suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

Fewer heads of state are expected than usual Friday night because of Brazil's current political crisis. Rousseff's impeachment trial is expected to end after the Olympics ends on Aug. 21, which leaves the country with two presidents until then.

Updated Date: Aug 06, 2016 08:42 AM

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