Brazil showcased its rich history and cultural heritage, combined with Rio’s famous ‘Samba’ dance, as the 31st Olympic Games was officially launched with a subtle yet powerful message of global warming in a glittering opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil organisers put their passion for football aside and made climate change and depletion of natural resources as the central theme in a thought-provoking nearly four-hour long ceremony to signal the opening of the 17-day extravaganza which will be completed by more than 11,000 athletes from 209 countries, including India, and a refugee Olympic team.

(Image Source: Getty Images)

" /> Brazil showcased its rich history and cultural heritage, combined with Rio’s famous ‘Samba’ dance, as the 31st Olympic Games was officially launched with a subtle yet powerful message of global warming in a glittering opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil organisers put their passion for football aside and made climate change and depletion of natural resources as the central theme in a thought-provoking nearly four-hour long ceremony to signal the opening of the 17-day extravaganza which will be completed by more than 11,000 athletes from 209 countries, including India, and a refugee Olympic team.

(Image Source: Getty Images)

" />

Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

Updated On : 06 Aug,2016 ,10:13 AM
Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

Brazil showcased its rich history and cultural heritage, combined with Rio’s famous ‘Samba’ dance, as the 31st Olympic Games was officially launched with a subtle yet powerful message of global warming in a glittering opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil organisers put their passion for football aside and made climate change and depletion of natural resources as the central theme in a thought-provoking nearly four-hour long ceremony to signal the opening of the 17-day extravaganza which will be completed by more than 11,000 athletes from 209 countries, including India, and a refugee Olympic team.

(Image Source: Getty Images)

Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer declared open the Games, the first to be held in South America, in the presence of International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach, who gave a lengthy speech, and United Nations head, Ban-Ki Moon.

Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

After the formal declaration of the Games, Brazilian 2004 Athens Olympics marathon bronze winner Vanderlei de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron after former tennis world number one and three-time French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten brought the torch into the arena to the thunderous applause of spectators.


Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

“It is not enough to stop harming the planet, it’s time to begin healing it. This will be our Olympic message: Earthlings, let’s replant, let’s save the planet,” said the creators of the opening ceremony.

(Image Source: Getty Images)

Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

Following the tradition, Greece, the birthplace of ancient Olympics, led the athletes’ parade with the hosts country Brazil coming last. The countries marched in alphabetical order based on the spelling of their names in Portuguese.

Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

Led by its only individual gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, who is in his swansong Olympics, as the flag bearer, the Indian contingent entered the stadium as 95th country.

(Image Source: Getty Images)


Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

Around 70 Indian athletes (out of 118) and 24 officials took part in the march past with the male athletes wearing navy blue colour blazer and trousers and their female counterparts donning blue blazer and traditional Saree.

Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

The ceremony was divided into 22 segments with the first 11 focussing on Brazil and its evolution. The first 45 minutes was about the history of Brazil and its evolution billions of years ago before the theme moved to planet earth.

Rio olympics rio de janeiro athletes india at rio Rio Olympics 2016 Opening Ceremony Games open with 'Samba', Abhinav Bindra leads Indian contingent

The men’s hockey players skipped the parade as they have a match against Ireland. The archery, table tennis and weightlifting teams also skipped the opening ceremony. There were loud cheers for the Spanish and British teams with the popular tennis duo of Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, both multiple-time Grand Slam champions, leading their respective countries on to the pitch holding aloft their national flags.