Rio Gives a Show of Diversity with the Best of Brazil’s Music

Opening of Rio's Olympic Games
Using many visual projections and light effects, Rio 2016 Olympics opening ceremony was a technology show drawing loud applause from the crowd.

The event began extolling one of the main characteristics of Rio: a combination of urban and green areas, since the city has two major environmental reserves, the Tijuca Forest and the Pedra Branca State Park.

After the first visual projection, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach was introduced in the ceremony. According to the protocol, interim President Michel Temer should also be introduced, but it has not happened.

Under loud boos and some applause, Temer formally declared the Rio 2016 Olympic Games open from the tribune where he attended the opening ceremony after the speeches delivered by Brazilian Olympic Committee President Carlos Nuzman and IOC President Thomas Bach.

Opening of Rio's Olympic Games

Temer took part in the ceremony next to Bach and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and received the whole Brazilian delegation with standing ovation.

One of the highlights was the moment when the delegations paraded into the stadium, which drew loud applause from the crowd. Large delegations, like the teams from USA, France, and Britain, raised the crowd, but small States, like Cuba, Palestine, and Haiti, also drew loud applause, as well as Latin American countries, like Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay, which were also warmly welcomed.

Musician Paulinho da Viola thrilled the crowd leading Brazilian national anthem on a stage inspired by architect Oscar Niemeyer’s work. Brazil’s flag was raised and 60 flags were carried by young athletes and stars of Brazil’s sport.

With diverse and creative expression, the party paid tribute to the “spirit of kludge,” defined by the organizers as “the talent to do something great from almost nothing.”

The highlights in music were performances given by musicians, like Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Anitta, Elza Soares, Ludmilla, Zeca Pagodinho, Jorge Ben Jor, rapper Marcelo D2, Karol Conka and McSofia, among other artists.

Supermodel Giselle Bündchen made a catwalk across the pitch to the sound of “Girl from Ipanema,” played by Daniel Jobim, the grandson of maestro Tom Jobim, author of the classic song.

The Olympic torch, which traveled to all Brazil’s regions in the past months, was carried into Maracanã by former tennis player Gustavo Kuerten, who drew loud applause and handed the torch to Brazilian basketball legend Hortência Marcari, silver medal in 1996.

She brought it to the stage, then handed it to former marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, who lit the Olympic cauldron.

Another highlight of the ceremony was the flight of the replica of the historic “14 Bis” plane, which flew around Maracanã stadium, piloted by an actor playing the role of its inventor, Santos Dumont.

The international press followed closely the Rio 2016 opening ceremony, which was live commented on top news websites around the world. In most of them, the ceremony was well praised.

IOC president Thomas Bach said, after the 207 Olympic delegations attending Rio 2016 marched out, that Brazil managed to organize the Games at a very difficult time in Brazilian history.

“Everyone should be very proud tonight. In just seven years you have achieved what generations could only dream of. You have changed Rio into a modern metropolis and made it even more beautiful,” he said.

Government Reaction

During a meeting this Saturday, Brazil’s Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes, Defense Minister Raul Jungmann, and Institutional Security Cabinet Chief Minister Sergio Etchegoyn concluded that the Olympic Games in Rio are happening under normal circumstances and no serious incident was recorded.

“According to the ministers, the integration of defense, intelligence, and public security areas, with the forces of Rio state government and City Hall government is essential to continue achieving positive results,” reads the note released to the press by the government.

Moroccan Boxer

On Saturday morning, Rio court denied a habeas corpus relief for Moroccan boxer Hassan Saada taken to jail on Thursday (August 4) under charges of sexual harassment against two cleaning ladies at the Olympic Village.

According to the rule sentenced by Rio de Janeiro Court, there was no legal justification for granting a habeas corpus relief for Saada.

In another court rule, Irish Kevin James Marlen was temporarily arrested under charges of irregularly selling tickets for the Olympic Games opening ceremony at the Maracanã stadium.

The Irish man was arrested in flagrante delicto at Next Flat hotel, where he was with several tickets. At the hotel, there were several people who confirmed in testimony that they were there to buy tickets from the Irish man.

The tickets were being sold at a higher price. The judge granted a search for new evidence in the Irish man’s belongings and ordered the seizure of his passport.



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