Rio Olympics 2016: Opening ceremony - As it happened...

India have sent their biggest contingent comprising over 100 athletes. Abhinav Bindra, India's only individual gold medalist at the Games, was India's flag-bearer.

Updated: Aug 06, 2016, 09:24 AM IST
Rio Olympics 2016: Opening ceremony - As it happened...

Rio de Janeiro: The much-awaited Opening Ceremony of Rio Olympics 2016 was organized in a beautiful manner at Maracana Stadium.

Here are some of the highlights from the opening ceremony:

08:20 am: Vanderlei Cordeiro lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday to mark the start of the 2016 Games.

08:10 am: Gustavo Kuerten is coming into the stadium with the Olympics torch.

08: 03 am: Brazil's interim president Michel Temer declares the Games officially open and the Olympic anthem begins.

07:35 am: For his significant contribution, Kenyan legend Kipchoge Keino is awarded the first Olympic Laurel.

07:35 am: Rio 2016 organizing committee chairman Carlos Arthur Nuzman addressed the spectators and thanking all the volunteers for their support.

07:15 am: And it's finally the turn of the hosts - Brazil!

06:20 am: The Indian team is here! Abhinav Bindra is the flag-bearer.

06: 10 am: Huge reception for France as well. They are competing in 27 out of 28 sports.

06: 05 am: With one of the biggest contingents, United States make their appearance. 

05: 48 am: Chinese athletes too get a warm reception.

05: 43 pm: A warm reception for the Canadian contingent.

05:25 am: Germany are next with a contingent comprising 425 athletes.

05:23 am: South Africa are next in line. Albania are next with a small contingent.

05:20 am: Greece is the first one, followed by Afghanistan. 

05:04 am: Time for some funky music and dance performances! Elza Soares also came up with a Samba performance. This was undoubtedly the highlight of the event so far. 

Rio Opening ceremony

05: 00 am: Crowd came up with a loud cheer as supermodel Gisele Bundchen did a catwalk! The girl from Ipanema walked towards an image of the late great musician Tom Jobim in a stunning outfit.

04:59 am: This is some view from the top:

04:53 pm: In another creative act, hundereds of artists were seen jumping from one artificial building to the other, depicting the construction of contemporary Brazil.

04:52: Meanwhile, Indian tennis legend Leandes Paes is all set for a record seventh opening ceremony.

04:45 am IST: The stage has been occupied by thousands of artists, who are portraying the history of the immigrants in the country - Europeans, Arabs, Asians and Africans.

04:37 am IST: The spectators have been asked to stand for the Brazilian national anthem. Excellent performance by Paulinho da Viola on an acoustic guitar.

04: 34 am IST: With the help of a lot of aluminum foil, hundreds of artists were seen performing dance. 

04: 32 am IST: The opening shot was of waves with a short message about the Brazilian culture and their tradition. It was a song “Aquele Abraço” by Gilberto Gil which described the country's struggle from the past as well.

04:24 am IST: We are minutes away from the start of the ceremony. The Maracana Stadium looks beautiful and all set for a glittering opening night.

04:10 am IST: Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza will not be seen during the opening ceremony as she starts off her campaign tomorrow. Here is what she tweeted some time back:

04:00 am IST: There was some bad news for the locals fans as Pele would not be able to light up the cauldron due to poor health. "Dear friends, only God is more important than my health!" the 75-year-old said in a statement published by Brazilian media. In his absence, three-time French Open winner Gustavo Kuerten will do the honours.

The stage is all set for the mega event and the entire world is waiting with bated breath for the opening ceremony to kick off.

Ahead of the event, despite plenty of problems being faced by the athletes, the opening ceremony of the biggest sporting spectacle promises to be a sensational affair.

Interim president Michel Temer will pronounce the Games open.

India have sent their biggest contingent comprising over 100 athletes. Abhinav Bindra, India's only individual gold medalist at the Games, will be India's flag-bearer.