FINALLY! The Rio 2016 Olympics have arrived, and the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5 was a spectacle to behold! Aside from the amazing performances from some of Brazilian’s top artists, we saw the first transgender person Lea T at the Olympics, and America looked great with Michael Phelps leading the way in their Ralph Lauren outfits.
The ceremony kicked off with some awesome choreography with dancers using silver floats to recreate an awesome countdown from 10 to o in Portuguese. It was epic and jumped out of the screen as we watched them, with dreamy music playing in the backdrop. As soon as the countdown was done, the Maracana Stadium erupted into an awesome fireworks display. Love it!
Next up, Paulinho da Viola was center stage with an acoustic guitar. He lead the crowd with a mellow version of the Brazilian national anthem, Hino Nacional Brasileiro as flag bearers waved the Brazilian flag around him as he sang. Shots of the crowd singing along sent shivers down our spines.
A 3d projection then amazed the crowd as teams of people brought out insects, in what was most definitely a nod to the rainforest, something Brazil has with the Amazon. The insects represented exactly what you would see there, and they were just amazing. The rainforest theme continued as actual family members of the indigenous people took to the stage, a real nice nod to Brazilian culture.
The ceremony took us next to the Caravelas from the 1500s. We saw pirates and boats in a tribute to the fishing village that provided Brazil with its early booming business. The story of Brazil’s history continued as more iconic images, spinning Cirque du Soleil acts in hamster wheels. It was strange, but visually stunning.
More 3D projections amazed, with a metropolis backdrop wowed the crowd as dancers appeared to leap over giant buildings, showing off some amazing parkour skills. People were climbing, jumping from building to building as the music picked up rather intensely. It was INSANE!
A controversial moment followed, Brazil believes Alberto Santos-Dumont invented flight, not the Wright Brothers! So, they had an actor playing his role taking off in a plane! Yes, that happened! Cut away to a dreamy video sequence of the plane and Alberto lookalike floating over Rio. Just beautiful and surreal.
The Girl From Ipanema then began to play, and it was Gisele Bundchen‘s moment! She looked amazing walking from one side of the stage to another, with her long legs very much on display in a sparkling dress. She rocked it, but sadly didn’t sing or say anything. Her moment was only short-lived, we wanted more!
It was hip-hop time as the Opening Ceremony began to go urban, representing its ever-changing music scene. Karol Conka and Elza Soares were the standouts, as was brilliant 16-year-old MC Soffia who sang her hit “Africa,” which paid homage to famous black Brazilian women like Chica de Silva and Carolina Maria de Jesus. Simply amaze!
More dancing followed as diversity was celebrated with people from all backgrounds dancing together. Even Gisele was seen in the crowd dancing away. She was having a whale of a time!
It wouldn’t have been an Opening Ceremony if we didn’t have a Global Warning warming! It was followed by a poem, read by Judy Dench again addressing Global Warning and the fears that need to be made aware.
The Parade of the Nations then took over, with Greece traditionally leading the way. They came out first as we were steadily introduced to each participating country. There were some amazing outfits on show, but none more amazing than the US team’s Ralph Lauren. They looked stunning as Michael Phelps led the way and they couldn’t stop taking selfies as they marched through the stadium. But the best cheer of the night came for the Refugee team, who got a standing ovation. Well done, guys. They were the penultimate squad before Brazil was introduced, led by transgender model Lea T.
Finally, the grand finale. A series of metallic objects were spun around until large plants made up the symbol of the famous Olympic circles that can be seen from an aerial view were revealed. Loud cheers rang around the stadium, it really was a sight to behold! Thomas Bach took to a podium soon after to announce the opening of The Games.
The Olympic anthem rang around the stadium after that as a child’s choir sang in unison. At last we got to the magic moment. Brazilian tennis player Gustavo Kuerten carried the Olympic flame, which was passed to Vanderlei de Lima who had the honor of lighting the torch. That’s it, it’s begun!
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