Rio de Janeiro, Aug 6: Rio Olympics 2016 formally opened on Friday with a colourful ceremony. The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics 2016 at the Macarana stadium showcased Brazil’s vibrantly diverse culture and dedicated to its history and the Earth’s environment. Ahead of the opening ceremony, the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, that dominates the skyline of the Brazilian capital and where the Olympic torch was lit at dawn, was specially lit up. President of 2016 games, Carlos Nuzman, promised to deliver a great experience at Rio.

The three and a half hour ceremony, which opened at 8.00 p.m. Brazilian time (4.30 a.m. IST), reproduced patterns created by Brazilian artist Athos Bulcao through volunteers who turned their metallic paper into exotic shapes depicting what the organisers said where the indigenous geometry, African patterns and traditional Portuguese tile design. Paulinho da Viola, accompanied by a string orchestra, then sang the Brazilian national anthem “Hino Nacional Brasileiro”. (ALSO READ: Rio Olympics 2016 India: Schedule, Fixtures of Events in IST)

Samba drums and dancing ushered in the games, with Brazil in a mood to throw a great party in the next 17 days, overlooking months of negative news and troubles which at times threatened to derail the biggest games show on the Earth. Soon the floor of the large stadium, which housed over 60,000 people, was covered with shapes from sea and forests, reminding the packed audience of the need to conserve. (ALSO READ: Rio Olympics 2016: Full list of India’s 120 athletes who qualified this year’s for Rio Olympics)

It harked back to a time when Brazil was entirely covered by forests. Sea ice melt and impact of climate change came back in the presentation with hope being depicted in the greening of the cities and rural areas by plantation of seeds by volunteers. Right till the end, when the green Olympic rings were revealed by mirror-hugging volunteers, the green theme carried on.

Most of the athletes from India came for the ceremony except for a handful who had a game the next day, dressed in Blue with a touch of yellow. Abhinav Bindra, the Olympic champion shooter, was the flag bearer for India. Over twenty officials also joined the contingent.

Click here to watch the full video of opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics 2016