ByPri Figueiredo, writer at
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Pri Figueiredo

If you're a Brazilian (as I am), you're bound to have conflicting emotions towards the 2016 Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro. Recently, with the Australian Olympic team complaining about the conditions of the Vila Olimpica - the Athletes' housing during the games - these conflicting emotions were shared by many.

Nevertheless, the Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics made sure everyone would have a single focus point tonight: the beauty of Rio de Janeiro.

One of Rio's most recognizable postcards: Sugar Loaf (courtesy of Alan Seabra)
One of Rio's most recognizable postcards: Sugar Loaf (courtesy of Alan Seabra)

Regardless of the many problems Rio currently faces, tonight's ceremony was a beautiful and emotional one, with some of Brazil's history, its most famous rhythms and the Brazilian model Giselle B√ľndchen sashaying as the Girl from Ipanema.

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The environment and the idea of sustainability were a huge part of the ceremony, as it has been throughout the Games' organization. For instance, all the wood used in the construction of the Vila Olimpica came from reforested areas. To further this initiative, all 11.000 athletes planted the seed of some typical Brazilian trees. These will then be part of a forest that should remain as the legacy of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Athletes from around 200 countries made their way into Maracana Stadium at the sound of the classics if Brazilian samba, and some if the greatest athletes of Brazil carried both the Olympic Flag and the Olympic Flame. The Olympic Rings followed the theme of sustainability and were made out if symbolic trees.

The four-hour ceremony ended in high-spirits with another round of samba, but that was just the official kick-off for the 2016 Games. The Olympics started last Thursday with women's and men's soccer. Friday was the first day of archery and this Saturday will feature the first full day of events with judo and boxing - you can check out the day's schedule here.

Now that the Games are officially open, what events will YOU be checking out?


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