If there’s a country that knows how to party, it’s Brazil – but with the Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony, they showed that a lavish budget was not always a prerequisite to making an impact. With the environmental theme at the heart of the ceremony, each athlete was given a seedling to plant in a new forest in the Deodoro zone. The 12,000 seeds will form an Athlete’s Forest with 208 species, one for each competing delegation.
Mirrored boxes that homed the tree seeds were assembled into the Olympic rings — which then opened to show a forest of green trees, which exploded upward into confetti. The following fireworks were spectacular and again evoked the rings.
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Home to the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, Brazil used the ceremony to call on the 3 billion people watching to take care of the planet, plant seeds and protect the lush, verdant land.
Brazilian marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron, a small and low-emission model in keeping with the environmental theme of the Olympic Games.
Acclaimed Brazilian film director Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) was one of three creative directors masterminding the show after months of negative news and setbacks with fellow director Andrucha Waddington and Daniela Thomas, the producer who co-created the handover from London 2012.
The spectacle celebrated the culture of the favelas – Brazilian funk, a contemporary mash-up of 20th century rhythms, sung by stars Karol Conka and 12-year-old rapper MC Soffia.
A spectacle that celebrated the spirit of Brazil – Saúde we say!
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