With a budget that organizers said was 12 times less than London’s and 20 times less than Beijing’s, the Rio opening ceremony was beautiful, bringing a poignant social statement.
The ceremony was directed by Fernando Meirelles, Andrucha Waddington and Daniela Thomas, and choreographed by Deborah Colker.
The beginning of #ComeToBrazil
Organizers didn’t shy away from showing that Brazil was colonised by the Portuguese (hear that, NBC) and that there was no ~immigration from Africa, they were forcibly brought to Brazil as slaves. Brazil also has the largest Japanese community outside of Japan, hence their inclusion in this and the loud cheers for the Japan team during the parade. They also showed Lebanese/Syrian immigration to Brazil.
Gisele’s final strut
Gisele Bundchen walks down the longest runway ever with “Garota de Ipanema”, by Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, playing.
It was played Daniel Jobim, Tom's grandson.
And then she went dancing with the crowd.
MC Soffia is a 12 year old rapper who is empowering African-Brazilian women by rapping about Brazil’s history of slavery and racial division.
She's also the youngest singer to perform at an Olympic ceremony. No pressure there, girl.
Read more about her here: https://www.rio2016.com/en/news/mc-soffia-takes-her-message
And check out her videos on youtube, like this one.
If there's one thing we love is music. Funk, rap, pop, samba, MPB. There was a little bit of everything.
MC Soffia & Karol Conka
Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil & Anitta
Jorge Ben (& Regina Casé)
You should also google Marcelo D2, Elza Soares, Luiz Melodia, Paulinho da Viola, Zeca Pagodinho and Gang do Eletro. (I couldn't find videos from the ceremony)
The parade and most applauded countries
Brazilians love Italy, Palestine, Portugal, Japan, France and Haiti as did most Latin American countries
But obviously Brazil got the loudest cheers ever.
Team Refugee Olympic Athletes
For the first time ever, a team consisted of only refugees will compete at the Olympics.
They entered right before Brazil and there were loud cheers for the Team Refugee - consisted of 10 people from Syria, DRC, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
For the delight of every straight girl and gay men (and bi peeps), Tonga’s flagbearer was shirtless and very oily.
His name is Pita Nikolas Taufatofua, and he qualified for the Olympics through the Oceania taekwondo qualification tournament. He was born in Australia but chose to compete for Tonga because of his father’s heritage.
Olympic rings and the Athletes forest
As athletes entered the stadium, each one of them received a seed to plant a native tree of Brazil. There were 207 species represented – one for each country in the Games. The trees will later form the Athletes’ Forest in Rio.
Lea T - first transgender person to take part in an Opening Ceremony
She's a model and was riding the bike for the Brazil team.
Lighting the caldron
Gustavo Kuerten, aka Guga (tennis player), Hortência (basketball player) and Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima (marathon) took the Olympic torch to the stadium, and the caldron was lit by Vanderlei.
Vanderlei rose to fame after winning bronze in marathon at the 2004 Athens Games despite being attacked by a crazy guy during the race, which he was leading. Brazil appealed the result, which was unsuccessful, but he was awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for the spirit of sportsmanship by the IOC.
Flawless choice by the organizers. Apparently, Pelé would be the one to do it but he cancelled due to health issues.
Breaking the tradition once again, it'll not be placed at the stadium, but in downtown Rio so everyone can visit it.
Brazilian officials wanted this cauldron smaller than most, a reminder to reduce global warming caused by fossil fuels and greenhouse gases. The flame is housed in a giant sculpture, with spirals to represent the sun.
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