Adriana Lima carries the Olympic torch ahead of the Rio Olympics opening ceremony – Daily Mail

Posted: Friday, August 05, 2016

The Olympic torch has travelled to some of the most well-known landmarks in Brazil – from the Christ the Redeemer statue atop the lush green mountains to the striking Pao de Acucar or Sugar Loaf rock formation on Guanabara Bay.

Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima proudly held the torch before lighting a special cauldron in Praça Mauá in the heart of the Olympic Boulevard on Thursday night.

The 35-year-old, from Salvador, shed tears after being overpowered by the emotion of the event and by the support of the crowds as the night drew to a close.  

Model Adriana Lima carries the Olympic torch in Maua Square in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 4

Model Adriana Lima carries the Olympic torch in Maua Square in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 4

Model Adriana Lima carries the Olympic torch with Rio de Janeiro's Secretary of Tourism Antonio Pedro in Maua Square in Rio

Model Adriana Lima carries the Olympic torch with Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of Tourism Antonio Pedro in Maua Square in Rio

Lima proudly held the torch before lighting a special cauldron in Praça Mauá in the heart of the Olympic Boulevard

Lima proudly held the torch before lighting a special cauldron in Praça Mauá in the heart of the Olympic Boulevard

Brazil Olympian Isabel Barroso Salgado was also emotional as she stood beneath the Christ the Redeemer statue – which towers at 125-foot statue (38 meters, 30 centimeters) – holding the torch straight above her head with both arms outstretched.

The volleyball medalist from Brazil then received a blessing as cameras snapped all around.

The iconic wonder is one of many stops for the flame as it travels around Rio de Janeiro at the end of a long relay that began in Greece. The flame will be used to light the Olympic cauldron on Friday night at the opening ceremony at Maracana Stadium.

The 35-year-old, from Salvador, wore her hair tied back in a sporty ponytail as she proudly held the torch

The 35-year-old, from Salvador, wore her hair tied back in a sporty ponytail as she proudly held the torch

Brazil's former volleyball player Isabel Barroso Salgado carried the Olympic torch in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue

Brazil’s former volleyball player Isabel Barroso Salgado carried the Olympic torch in front of the Christ the Redeemer statue

The Olympic torch is making its way for the opening ceremony of Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics

The Olympic torch is making its way for the opening ceremony of Rio’s 2016 Summer Olympics

There’s nothing like the unique Brazilian vibe — and the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will see no shortage of samba, culture, diversity and history as the South American nation proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders.

Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil.

Since the event won’t able to avoid the issues that are gripping Brazil — a president facing impeachment, a deep recession and environmental threats — organizers made sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country’s magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the Olympic opening ceremony.

The Christ the Redeemer statue is seen at sunrise prior to the start of the opening ceremony on Friday

The Christ the Redeemer statue is seen at sunrise prior to the start of the opening ceremony on Friday

The Sugar loaf mountain and Guanabara bay at dawn ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

The Sugar loaf mountain and Guanabara bay at dawn ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

‘The world is very tense and so is Brazil. We are also willing to tell the world to stop attacking our home. The world is threatened because of global warming. We are calling for action,’ said Fernando Meirelles, one of the directors of the show.

Samba and pop music singers are expected to perform, including Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand.

But the climax of the show, the lighting of the cauldron, depends on whether Brazil’s most famous athlete — soccer star Pele — appears. He said this week he was invited to take part, but business deals were stopping him from doing it.

The cauldron was designed by American sculptor Anthony Howe, who told The Associated Press he was inspired by life in the tropics. There will be two cauldrons in Rio, one at the Maracana soccer stadium that is hosting the opening ceremony and another open to the public in downtown Rio.

A samba dance group perform on the street while waiting for the arrival of the Olympic torch on Thursday

A samba dance group perform on the street while waiting for the arrival of the Olympic torch on Thursday

Almost ready: The Olympic torch arrived at Macumba beach in Rio de Janiero on Thursday. Pele is expected to use it to light the Olympic flame on Friday night

Almost ready: The Olympic torch arrived at Macumba beach in Rio de Janiero on Thursday. Pele is expected to use it to light the Olympic flame on Friday night

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE OPENING CEREMONY?  

The Rio Olympic Games will officially take place between 5 and 21 August after the opening ceremony at midnight BST on Friday.

However, the sporting action actually kicked off two days ago with the women’s football.

A staggering 10,500 athletes will take part in the Games from a record 207 teams. The United States has the biggest team with 554 athletes.

As for the ceremony, 5,000 volunteers, 500 musicians and 200 professional dancers will take part in the celebration of Brazil watched by an estimated three billion people on Television and 50,000 people in the stadium.

The three hour spectacle will feature Brazilian music, including the samba and drumming made famous by Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival celebrations, and all artists agreed to perform without pay.

Since the event won’t be able to avoid the issues that are gripping Brazil – a president facing impeachment, a deep recession and environmental threats – organisers made sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country’s magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the Olympic opening ceremony.

Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil will make an appearance, as well as supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand.

But the climax of the show, the lighting of the cauldron, depends on whether Brazil’s most famous athlete – soccer star Pele – appears. He said this week he was invited to take part, but business deals were stopping him from doing it.

The cauldron in central Rio is expected to be lit by a runner after the opening ceremony is finished, Howe said.

The floor of the stadium will be a vast stage for projections, a substitute for more expensive structures in a nod to Brazil’s economic troubles.

In all, 4,800 performers and volunteers will be involved in the show, which is built on three basic pillars of life in Brazil. Those are sustainability, particularly re-forestation; finding joy in life and in being Brazilian; and the idea of ‘gambiarra,’ the quirky Brazilian art of improvising repairs using whatever parts are available.

‘Smile is the approach the Brazilians have toward life,’ said Marco Balich, the executive producer. ‘Brazil is not a grand nation. They’re saying in this ceremony, we are who we are, with a lot of social problems, a lot of crises in the political system, etc.’

Space limitations in the Maracana also curbed the creative possibilities for the show. The stadium does not have typical Olympic dimensions — there is no track. The only Olympic events it is hosting are soccer matches.

Excitement: On Rio's famous Copacabana tourists pose next to an Olympic sign

Excitement: On Rio’s famous Copacabana tourists pose next to an Olympic sign

Security: A navy patrol ship is seen off Copacabana Beach as locals enjoy the sun, sea and sand

Security: A navy patrol ship is seen off Copacabana Beach as locals enjoy the sun, sea and sand

NBC will broadcast the opening ceremony on a one-hour tape delay because it wants the entertainment spectacle to be shown completely in U.S. prime time. Rio is one hour later than Eastern time.

Unpopular interim Brazilian President Michel Temer is expected to attend the opening ceremony. He will be replacing his ally-turned-enemy, suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

Fewer heads of state are expected than usual Friday night because of Brazil’s current political crisis. Rousseff’s impeachment trial is expected to end after the Olympics ends on Aug. 21, which leaves the country with two presidents until then. 

Organisers will now hope that the sporting action takes over and has an uplifting effect with Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt leading the way.

Bolt is aiming for a triple triple, having won gold over 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay in Beijing and London. The men’s 100m final – at 02:25am BST on Monday August 15 – promises to be one of the moments of the Games.

A rehearsal was held on Sunday night at the Maracana stadium, with some hint of the fireworks to come on Friday night

A rehearsal was held on Sunday night at the Maracana stadium, with some hint of the fireworks to come on Friday night

The British team will hope they can have a record-breaking ‘away’ Games by topping the 47-medal haul in Beijing and will look to the likes of London 2012 ‘Super Saturday’ trio Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford, plus swimmer Adam Peaty, sailor Giles Scott, boxer Nicola Adams and cyclists Laura Trott, Chris Froome and Lizzie Armitstead to lead the quest for gold.

Golf and rugby, in the form of Rugby Sevens, return to the Olympics in Rio and a 10-athlete strong Refugee Olympic Team will compete under the Olympic flag.

On Thursday night it finally became clear that 271 Russian athletes, from an original entry list of 389, are eligible to compete in the Rio Games after a protracted saga sparked by the World Anti-Doping Agency commissioned McLaren report, which identified a state-sponsored doping programme in Russia.

Among those missing are the Russian track and field athletes who have been banned by the International Amateur Athletics Federations.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

What time is it on?

The opening ceremony will begin at 11:40pm BST, with coverage running through until 4am.

What channel is it on?

All the action will be shown live on BBC One, with a preview show presented by Clare Balding from 8:30-10pm. 

Where will it be held?

The ceremony will be held in the world-famous Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. During the Games itself, the stadium will play host to football. 

Who will be holding the flag for team GB?

Tennis world No 2 Andy Murray will be flying the flag – quite literally – for the Brits. He has described it as an ’emotional’ experience.

Who will be holding the flag for team USA?

Michael Phelps – the most decorated Olympian of all time – will be holding the flag for Team USA in Rio. 

What will the opening ceremony include?

5,000 volunteers, 500 musicians and 200 professional dancers… plus Gisele Bundchen, a transsexual model, and hopefully football legend Pele! 

Organizers: Marcdo Balich (pictured), the show's executive producer, and Fernado Meirelles, its creative director, faced slashed budgets and being overshadowed by the political climate in putting together the ceremony

Organizers: Marcdo Balich, the show's executive producer, and Fernado Meirelles (pictured), its creative director, faced slashed budgets and being overshadowed by the political climate in putting together the ceremony

Organizers: Marcdo Balich (left), the show’s executive producer, and Fernado Meirelles (right), its creative director, faced slashed budgets and being overshadowed by the political climate in putting together the ceremony

 

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