2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony

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2016 Summer Olympics
opening ceremony
Date5 August 2016 (2016-08-05)
Time20:00 BRT (23:00 UTC)
LocationMaracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Coordinates22°54′43.80″S 43°13′48.59″W / 22.9121667°S 43.2301639°W / -22.9121667; -43.2301639Coordinates: 22°54′43.80″S 43°13′48.59″W / 22.9121667°S 43.2301639°W / -22.9121667; -43.2301639

The opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games will take place on the evening of Friday 5 August 2016 in the Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro starting at 20:00 BRT (23:00 UTC).[1] As mandated by the Olympic Charter, the proceedings will combine the formal ceremonial opening of this international sporting event (including welcoming speeches, hoisting of the flags and the parade of athletes) with an artistic spectacle to showcase the host nation’s culture.


The creative directors for the ceremony will be the Brazilian film directors Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener), and the producer Daniela Thomas (who co-directed the handover from London 2012) and Andrucha Waddington.[2] Deborah Colker, Brazil's most celebrated choreographer, will prepare a cast of over 6000 volunteers who will dance in the opening ceremony, of which the rehearsals started at the end of May 2016.[3]

Meirelles stated that the ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympics would have a significantly lower budget than those of other recent Olympics, totalling only 10% of the total budget for the ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Explaining his rationale, he explained that he would be "ashamed to waste what London spent in a country where we need sanitation; where education needs money. So I'm very glad we're not spending money like crazy. I'm happy to work with this low budget because it makes sense for Brazil." Meirelles outlined that because of the lower budget, the ceremony will eschew "high-tech" ideas such as moving stages and drones; fellow ceremonies director Leonardo Caetano went on to say that the concept of the ceremony would emphasize "originality" over "luxury", and "compensate with creativity, rhythm and emotion".[4][5]

On 15 July 2016, it was announced that Anitta, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil would perform during the opening ceremony. Gil and Veloso had also participated as creative advisors for the ceremony. Creative director Daniela Thomas explained that their involvement is meant to reflect the "best" in Brazilian music.[6] Despite announcing her retirement, Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen will take part in the opening ceremony.[7]


For the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, a major reconstruction project was initiated for the Maracanã Stadium. The original seating bowl, with a two-tier configuration, was demolished, giving way to a new one-tier seating bowl.[8] The original stadium's roof in concrete was removed and replaced with a fiberglass tensioned membrane coated with Polytetrafluoroethylene. The new roof covers 95% of the seats inside the stadium, unlike the former design, where protection was only afforded to some seats in the upper ring and those above the gate access of each sector.

The ceremony

Fernando Meirelles said in September 2015 that the ceremony will be a vision of the country "and what I hope it will become". Meirelles said he will try to steer away from cliches, but not all of them; for example, the carnival has been confirmed to be a part of the ceremony.[9]


The Olympic cauldron will be lit inside the Maracanã. In April 2016, Rio Organizing Committee spokesperson Mario Andrada stated that organizers had planned to move the Olympic cauldron to a public location near the Port of Rio de Janeiro following the opening ceremony, most likely near the Candelária Church, rather than have it in one of the main stadiums. This move would be similar to that of the 2010 Winter Olympics, where the official cauldron was located outside the Vancouver Convention Centre but lit in a separate ceremony that immediately followed the conclusion of the opening ceremony proper, which took place in a domed, indoor stadium that would have inhibited public viewing. Mayor of Rio Eduardo Paes expressed a desire for the cauldron to be placed closer to the "heart" of the port, which had been revitalized as a legacy project for the Games.[10][11][12]


Katy Perry - "Rise"

Officials and guests

Early estimates indicated that at least 100 heads of state or government were planning to attend the opening ceremony. However, some foreign leaders have been slow to commit to their attendance because of the ongoing political issues and other issues affecting the Games.[14]

TV coverage

Despite occurring in a location that is only one hour ahead of the Eastern Time Zone (where the ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET), NBC confirmed that it would continue its practice of tape delaying the opening ceremony broadcast for the United States audience, citing a need to provide "context" for its contents; the broadcast will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT, resulting in the ceremony airing on a one-hour delay on the east coast, and a four-hour delay on the west. Canadian broadcaster CBC mocked NBC's decision on Twitter, pointing out that it will broadcast the ceremony live.[22][23][24] NBC had also made a request to the IOC for the Parade of Nations to be conducted in English alphabetical order rather than Portuguese, stating that it would affect viewership if the U.S. team, referred to as "Estados Unidos" in Portuguese, entered too soon. The IOC denied this change, as it runs contrary to the requirement that countries enter in the alphabetical order of the language of the host country.[25] BBC will also show the opening ceremony with live coverage beginning at 11:40pm BST.[26]


  1. ^ "Tickets". 31 March 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Rio Olympics committee reveals opening ceremony details". 29 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Opening ceremony choreographer promises masterpiece of dance and passion".
  4. ^ "Rio Olympics Ceremony to Cost 10% of London's Lavish Event Open". Bloomberg. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Rio 2016 promise "original" Olympic Opening Ceremony despite low budget". InsideTheGames.biz. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Rio Olympics: Anitta, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil to Perform at Opening Ceremony". Billboard. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Gisele Bündchen to Walk the 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony". 18 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Maracanã". The Stadium Guide.
  9. ^ "Rio Olympics organizers: Opening ceremony will be cheap". CBC Sports. 22 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Rio mayor wants Olympic cauldron near revitalized port area". Associated Press. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Confirmado: pira olímpica ficará no Porto do Rio". Globo.com (in Portuguese). 27 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Olympic flame set to be located at city centre site during Rio 2016". InsideTheGames.biz. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  13. ^ http://blogs.oglobo.globo.com/ancelmo/post/paulinho-da-viola-tocara-o-hino-nacional-na-abertura-da-rio-2016.html
  14. ^ a b c "Foreign leaders slow to commit to Rio opening ceremony".
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ a b c d "Mais de 40 chefes de estado assistirão abertura da Olimpíada, diz Serra".
  17. ^ http://orientpress.hu/cikk/2016-08-02_ader-az-olimpia-nyito--orban-a-zarounnepsegen-kepviseli-hazankat
  18. ^ "Czech President confirms he will attend Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016". Inside the Games. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ President Nikolic with Olympians until 8th August
  21. ^ [3]
  22. ^ "Armour: NBC fails again with Rio opening ceremony delay". USA Today. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  23. ^ "NBC to air opening ceremony of Rio Olympics on one-hour delay". USA Today. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  24. ^ "NBC Expects 15 Percent Increase in Ad Sales for Rio Olympics". Bloomberg. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  25. ^ "NBC tried to change the order of the Parade of Nations for better ratings. The IOC said no". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Sport on the BBC: The best of this week's action". BBC. Retrieved 31 July 2016.