The best moments from the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics

The 2016 Summer Olympics officially kicked off on Friday with the opening ceremony held in Rio’s
Maracana Stadium.
The ceremony began with a celebration of the history of the nation, continued with the traditional parade of athletes and nations, and finished with an incredible fireworks display.

Below we take a look at the most memorable moments from opening night.

The ceremony began with the evolution of Brazil, from a time prior to people, to the arrival of the Portuguese.

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There was the transformation of Brazil into an agricultural nation.

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And there was the influx of Japanese. No other country in the world has more people of Japanese descent than Brazil.

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That was followed by a modernised Brazil.

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The evolution of Brazil was capped by supermodel Gisele B√ľndchen walking across the stage as if to represent the peak of Brazilian evolution.

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It seemed like there was a momentary glitch in the Matrix. In reality, the opening ceremony set out to promote a more environmentally friendly nation and world.

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There was a rooster.

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He was joined by some hands.

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At one point, one of the first planes took off.

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It seemingly exited the stadium and flew around Rio.


There was a planted tree to represent the reforestation of Brazil. That included a young boy taking a selfie with the tree.

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There were plenty of fireworks all night.

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It was finally time for the parade of athletes. As usual, Greece led the way.

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The refugee team received a thunderous ovation.

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Michael Phelps led Team USA.

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The back of his jack illuminated.

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The men's basketball team took a moment to take a selfie.

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Iran used archer Zahra Nemati as their flag bearer. A former Paralympian, she qualified for the Rio Olympics this time around.

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Andy Murray led Team Great Britain. He even smiled!

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A view from above.

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The colourful bicycles leading each team were a big hit.

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Tonga's flagbearer was a shirtless and oily taekwondo athlete, Nikolas Taufatofua.

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Finally, it was Brazil's turn, the 208th and last country to be introduced.

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More fireworks.

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The Olympic rings were created using trees, again to promote the ecosystem.

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The Brazil flag was raised alongside the Olympic flag.

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Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, a Brazilian marathoner who won bronze in 2004 after being attacked by a spectator during the race, carried the flame to the cauldron.

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Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lit the flame after Pele said he was too ill to attend the ceremony.

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It's official! The games have begun.

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Finally, an incredible fireworks display created the Olympic rings.

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