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Let the games begin! The Rio Olympics 2016 opening ceremony

The Rio Olympics 2016 opening ceremony was truly spectacular: a celebration of the nation’s culture and a wonderful welcome to all those taking part in this great international sporting event.
Rio Olympics 2016 opening ceremony

A blazing display of fireworks, followed by an interpretive performance showing the birth of civilisation through to our modern world, marked the opening of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Supermodel, Giselle Bundchen, originally rumoured to be performing in a skit re-enacting a mugging, instead made a stunning appearance while the Girl from Ipanema was played on a piano by the grandson of the composer.

The live blog from the Telegraph reported the event was wonderful. “Creative, ingenious, without being gaudy. Go on Brazil.”

The ceremony also took some time to make a statement to the world about the effect of global climate change. Dame Judi Dench read a poem by Carlos Drummond de Andrade A Flor e a Nausea during the video segment. While hitting a sombre note amid the joviality of the carnival atmosphere, the poem was one that announced hope for the future.

As athletes from around the world began to make their journey around the stadium, our team were snapped backstage as they excitedly got ready for their moment to represent New Zealand.

But, not everyone from the New Zealand team could make it. The women’s field hockey team had to sit out tonight’s event because they needed prep time to get ready for their first game. That didn’t stop the girls, though, from dressing up in their Number Ones though and posting a picture to Instagram looking their absolute best.

In an anxious lead-up to our entrance, flag bearers Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, stood ready and waiting in Kakahu cloaks to lead our 199 athletes through Macarena Stadium.

As the team entered the stadium, the call went out on social media to make plenty of noise. Showing support for the team, Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae, was spotted waving from the stands, the New Zealand Herald reported.

After speeches and awards, all that was left was the closing of the night’s proceedings in traditional fashion by the lighting of the Olympic torch.

There had been much speculation as to who this honour would go to, after this week’s shock announcement that Brazilian football legend Pele, would not be taking part in the ceremony, due to ongoing health issues.

Lighting the cauldron was Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima. De Lima, a bronze medal winner in the marathon at the 2004 Olympics, and who is perhaps better remembered as the athlete who survived an attack by a knife-wielding priest.

More fireworks and a huge explosion wrapped the ceremony. And the games of course, will begin tonight!

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