And the Games begin: Rio kicks off Olympics with spectacular ceremony

  • Agencies, Rio de Janeiro
  • Updated: Aug 06, 2016 10:29 IST
Fireworks explode over Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo)

The Rio Games launched with a flamboyant spectacle headlined by supermodel Gisele Bundchen as a doom-laden Olympic build-up gave way to an energetic party atmosphere at the fabled Maracana stadium on Friday.

Despite the resentful undercurrent, and protests against the Games just hours earlier, spirits were high among the thousands of athletes, performers, fans and officials at the 78,000-capacity Maracana.

“The Olympic dream is now a wonderful reality. The best place in the world is here and now,” said organising committee chief Carlos Nuzman, to rapturous applause.

Here’s how the opening ceremony panned out:

8:26 (IST): Vanderlei Cordeiro, former Brazilian long-distance runner lit the flame, and the games are officially underway. Catch all the updates on our Rio 2016 page.

8:21 (IST): The Olympic flame is lit! Let the games begin!

8:18 (IST): Gustavo Kuerten, Brazil’s tennis great, is making his way with the Olympic torch.

The Olympic Flame is seen lit. (Reuters Photo)

This picture shows an overview during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. (AFP Photo)

8: 15 (IST): Brazil’s interim president Michel Temer declared open the first Games ever in South America.

Brazil interim president Michel Temer opens the 2016 Summer Olympics during the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (AP Photo)

8:12 (IST): Seems like an apt time to listen to the 2014 Brazil World Cup song again.

8:03 (IST): The Olympic flag is being hoisted. It has been a gorgeous ceremony. Just look at these.






7:44 (IST): Brazil making sure they send out a clear message on the preservation of the environment.


7:35 (IST): In case you get bored of all the speeches. Read: Ahead of Rio 2016’s curtain raiser, ranking the best ever opening ceremonies

7:31 (IST): While spectators enjoy the opening act inside the Maracana, these guys make sure they stay safe.


7:23 (IST): The opening ceremony is almost done. Hosts Brazil are the last ones out.

7:12 (IST): A whole lot of blue here.


All this blue reminds us of this.

7:05 (IST): Sri Lanka is out! A shame cricket isn’t part of the Olympics, they would be gold contenders.

7:02 (IST): More visuals from our Indian contingent. Looking smart in their traditional attire.


6:54 (IST): North Korea is here.

6:46 (IST): Jamaica is here! Can you spot Usain Bolt?


6:44 (IST): Our neighbours Nepal are out!

6:42 (IST): A really pretty ceremony, this one.


6:41 (IST): Mexico is out! Got the tequila ready?


6:32 (IST):The tricolour flies high!


6:29 (IST): Rafael Nadal was all smiles during the opening ceremony.


6:25 (IST): While others get on board the selfie train and post pictures on Instagram and Twitter, Abhinav is focusing solely on Rio.

6:21 (IST): Team India is here! Shooter Abhinav leads out the Indian contingent.

Around 70 Indian athletes (out of 118) and 24 officials took part in the march past.

Tennis ace Leander Paes was seen waving at the crowd but the spotlight was on female shuttlers Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponappa and gymnast Dipa Karmakar.

Abhinav Bindra leading the Indian contingent in the Rio Olympics opening ceremony. (Reuters Photo)

India’s flag-bearer Abhinav Bindra leads the contingent at the opening ceremony. (Reuters Photo)

6:13 (IST): Flag bearer Andy Murray leads out the Great Britain contingent.

6:05 (IST): Swimmer Michel Phelps is the flag bearer for the United States of America.

6:02 (IST): Rafael Nadal leads the Spain contingent in RIo 2016. He was given a second chance after he missed the 2012 London Games due to injury.

5:44 (IST): The Saudi women athletes at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony.

(Reuters Photo)

5:39 (IST): The Indian team is ready.

5:32 (IST): The Kuwaiti athletes are walking under the IOC flag as the Kuwait Olympic Committee was suspended because of political interference.

5:29 (IST): The order of entry is alphabetical, but in Portuguese.

(Reuters Photo)

5:24 (IST): As always, the Greek contingent is the first one to enter the arena.

5:17 (IST): It’s a samba party at the Maracana!

(Reuters Photo)

5:11 (IST): The grand spectacle.

(Reuters Photo)

5:09 (IST): 12-year old MC Soffia is also part of the Rio 2016 opening ceremony.

5:06 (IST): The parkour influence!

(Reuters Photo)

5:01 (IST): ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ plays as Gisele Bundchen makes her entrance.

4:57 (IST): The brilliant laser show at the opening ceremony.

(Reuters Photo)

4:52 (IST): U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and IOC President Thomas Bach are attending the opening ceremony.

(Reuters Photo)

4:49 (IST): The spectacular fireworks show..

(Reuters Photo)

4:47 (IST): And now we have the representation of Brazil’s rainforests, and the indigenous people.

4:40 IST): The Maracana Stadium looks like a dream.

(Reuters Photo)

4:34 (IST): The ceremony is underway!

(Reuters Photo)

4:30 (IST): The crowd is ready for the opening ceremony!

(Reuters Photo)

4:27 (IST): Team India.

#Rockstars ๐Ÿ‘ #IndiaHockeyTeam #IndiaTennis ๐ŸŽพ #Goodlucktomm

A photo posted by Sania Mirza (@mirzasaniar) on

4:23 (IST): The Maracana Stadium is slowly getting packed ahead of the extravaganza.

(AFP Photo)

4:20 (IST): An inside view of the Canada team bus.

4:18 (IST): It’s almost time.

4:15 (IST): Sadly, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza will not be attending the Olympic opening ceremony.

4:14 (IST): The Indian shuttle queens also seem ready.

4:12 (IST): Garbine Muguruza tweeted a picture of her Spanish teammates.

4:08 (IST): Meanwhile, the Russians are quite miffed.

3:58 (IST): Team USA are ready for the RIo 2016 opening ceremony.

#olympics โœŒ ใƒปใƒปใƒป Our amazing tennis team๐Ÿ˜

A photo posted by The Olympic Games (@olympics) on

3:56 (IST): Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan wished his country’s athletes on social media.

3:54 (IST): Brazil tennis great Gustavo Kuerten will light the Olympic cauldron at opening ceremony.

(Reuters Photo)

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