The Summer Olympics are finally here. The 2016 Games will officially kick off with an opening ceremony on Friday night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While the various competitions are always fun to watch, there's nothing quite like the spectacle of an Olympic opening ceremony. The opening ceremony for the Rio Olympic games is expected to be different from others seen in the past. It will showcase both the history of Brazil as well as aim to capture the Brazil the world knows today. NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus described the theme as "a celebration of Brazilian culture, of Rio, of the pageantry, of the excitement, of the flair that this beautiful nation has."
Olympic ceremonies in the past have been rather opulent and expensive. The Rio Olympics will break away from this tradition due to the current economic conditions in the country. Despite the fact that Brazil is suffering from the worst recession in the country since the 1930's, the four creative directors still plan to put together a memorable opening ceremony. To truly capture the spirit of the country, the Rio Olympics opening ceremony will highlight themes of sustainability, Brazilian culture like Carnivale, and the country's strength to keep moving forward.
The 2016 opening cermoney is estimated to cost about half of the $42 million spent by London on the 2012 opening ceremony. Despite the smaller budget and lack of special effects, sources have confirmed the ceremony will still be a vibrant extravaganza that viewers will love. There will be samba dancing, a brief depiction of Brazil's rich history, and special homage made to the Amazonian rain forest.
Perhaps the most anticipated moment of any Olympic opening ceremony is the lighting of the torch. Even this tradition will be stray from the familiar path of those that came before it. Keeping in line with the theme of sustainability, the cauldron will be a low-emission cauldron to prevent burning a massive amount of gas. It's an important message for the world to hear and will be broadcast internationally.
3 billion people around the world are expected to watch the opening ceremony on Friday night. It's sure to be a colourful, fun celebration of Brazilian culture, while also being informative about the struggles in the developing world. It will be a nice change of pace from the grandeur of previous opening ceremonies, highlighting an important message of sustainability with Olympic flair.
Be sure to tune in on Friday for one of the most exciting events in the Olympic cycle — you definitely don't want to miss this one.