Opening Ceremony Recap And Day One Events: Rio 2016 Has Begun

Your need-to-know guide on day one of the Olympics.

It’s four years since the London opening ceremony saw the Queen parachute into the Olympic stadium but Brazil clearly took on the challenge of topping Danny Boyle’s British extravaganza with aplomb.

This was a scaled-back ceremony in terms of spending, with creative director Fernando Meirelles saying that the budget, slashed by half as Brazil’s economic recession bit ever harder, “is 12 times less than London, 20 times less than Beijing.”

<strong>Fireworks explode aver the Maracana stadium</strong>
Fireworks explode aver the Maracana stadium

But there’s no arguing about it - the Brazilians showed they certainly know how to put on a party.

Here’s our round-up of the very best of the ceremony, as well as your need-to-know guide to the day ahead...

Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony Highlights

  • The history of the country took us on a journey through evolution - although some people suggested what looked like microbes running around the stage were in fact the Zika virus or a reference to the state of the country’s polluted water.

  • The ceremony also nodded to the country’s roots in slavery

  • People couldn’t handle the incredible Olympic torch...

  • The first ever Olympic refugee team got a huge heart-warming cheer as they paraded.

  • Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen made an appearance - although didn’t get “mugged” as rumours suggested she might.

  • The opening ceremony’s climate change ‘lecture’ - narrated by Dame Judi Dench - caused a bit of a stir.

  • The actual CIA turned the opening ceremony into a giant quiz.

  • Brazilian marathoner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron (there had been rumours that it might have been Pele).

The Biggest ‘Phew!’ Moment

Andy Murray successfully carried the flag for Team GB without smacking anyone in the face.

After his earlier attempt, which almost saw him whack Princess Anne with the standard, we were all a little bit nervous for him.

<strong>Andy avoids causing serious injury to anyone while leading out Team GB</strong>
Andy avoids causing serious injury to anyone while leading out Team GB
David J. Phillip/AP

But the Wimbledon champ clearly decided to go one-up and showed off his new-acquired flag-carrying skills by doing it one-handed.

Show off.

Most Popular Flag-Bearer

We really struggled with this one (and no sorry Andy, it’s not you).

There were two countries whose flag-bearers really caused a stir on social media.

There was Kiribati..

And then there was Tonga:

Most Heartwarming Moment Of The Evening

With an opening ceremony last for hours, many audience members get rather fatigued by the end of the Parade of Nations.

But when the penultimate team to arrive was the first ever Refugee Team the crowd did not disappoint, getting to their feet and roaring their support.

Award For Most Relaxed Uniform Goes To...

Portugal, for all turning up to the opening ceremony in jeans.

<strong>Distressed jeans are part of the Portuguese national dress (this may not be true)</strong>
Distressed jeans are part of the Portuguese national dress (this may not be true)
Cameron Spencer via Getty Images

And now looking forward to today...

Team GB Ones To Watch On Day One

All times are in UK time:

  • Chris Froome will compete in the men’s road race, beginning at 1.30pm.

  • Heather Watson plays her first women’s singles match against China’s Peng Shuai.

  • Louis Smith is among the Team GB athletes taking part in the men’s gymnastics from 2.30pm.

  • The men’s hockey team will face Belgium at 4.30pm and the women will face Australia at 12.30am tomorrow.

  • There’s medal potential for the swimmers in a number of events: Men’s 400m individual medley and 400m freestyle, as well as the women’s 400m individual medley from 2am tomorrow. James Guy has been tipped for medal potential in the 400m freestyle.

  • Commonwealth champion Ashley McKenzie is worth a watch in the men’s -60kg judo from 2pm.

The Best Of The Rest

  • Rugby Sevens kicks off today, making its first ever appearance. Team GB’s women will face Brazil at 4pm and Japan at 9pm.

  • The very first gold medal will be awarded for the women’s 10m air rifle event.

  • Also appearing today are: archery, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, equestrian events, fencing, football, handball, hockey, judo, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, water polo and weightlifting.

We’ll be rounding up the win, fails and funniest moments of each day at the Rio 2016 Olympics. You can find it online or sign up for the Daily Brief email here.

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