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  • Photo, Video: Olympics formally opened

    06:09 6 Aug 2016

    The 2016 Olympics have been formally opened with a colourful and pulsating ceremony at Rio's Maracana stadium.

    Broadcast to an estimated audience of three billion, it celebrated Brazil's history, culture and natural beauty, before former marathon runner Vanderlei de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron.

    The build-up to Rio 2016 has been played out against a deep recession and political protests in Brazil.

     Fireworks explode at the culmination of the opening ceremony on Friday night - officially kicking off the Games

     The Rio Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, at Maracana Stadium, came to a close with a spectacular fireworks display

     

    Fireworks explode over the Maracana stadium during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

     

     

    Olympic rings are formed with sprouting seed boxes during the ceremony - another nod to this year's focus on climate change

     

    Samba school dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

     

    The dancers donned elaborate and colorful costumes for their performance at the end of the night

     

     The skimpy outfits, which resemble those worn at Rio's Carnival, were worn by dancers in the final display of the night

     Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Scores of dancers and drummers from various Samba Schools joined the stage in a rainbow of different colors 

     

     

    Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Confetti falls from the ceiling onto the dancers down below at the end of the ceremony

     

    Dancers perform during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana stadium

     

    The cauldron is mounted on a giant sun sculpture bearing which moves with the lit flame

     

    Brazil interim President Michel Temer, whose presence has sparked furious protests, gave an address at the Opening Ceremony

     

    The Olympic flag was carried into the stadium during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro 

     

     

    Most of the tight budget for the Rio Olympic ceremony has been spent on a high-tech splurge for the show's video projections 

     

    Lit in green, the dancers represented the hundreds of tribes that popular the Amazon rainforest in Brazil

     

    The Olympic Opening Ceremony 2016 kicked off in Rio tonight with a stunning celebration of Brazilian culture

     

    The dancers are just a few of the 500 performers at the Opening Ceremony tonight for the Rio Olympics - the first time the Olympics has been held in a South American country 

     

    The Olympic Opening Ceremony 2016 kicked off in Rio tonight with a stunning celebration of Brazilian culture

     

     

    The Olympic Opening Ceremony 2016 kicked off in Rio tonight with a stunning celebration of Brazilian culture

     

    Brazilian marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, who was famously attacked during a 2004 marathon by a spectator,  lights the Olympic flame to bring the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to an end

     

    Soccer star Pele was due to light the cauldron as the climax of the show but had to pull due to poor health

     

    The Brazilian marathon runner, de Lima, carries the Olympic flame up the stairs towards the cauldron during the opening ceremony

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