Nearly 5,000 people will perform in front of over 78,000 spectators and 11,000 athletes at Maracanã Stadium, plus hundreds of millions more watching on television, as Rio readies for the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games on Friday.
For viewers in Canada, the Rio Games will be quite convenient, given their time zone is the same as Atlantic Canada (four hours ahead of the west coast).
The four-hour show will air on Friday at 4 pm PT (7 pm ET) on CBC.
Here’s what to expect.
Sexiest Opening Ceremony ever
Rio’s Opening Ceremony won’t be nearly as costly as London or Beijing, but they promise to be far sexier.
Gisele Bundchen will be on hand, as will a number of scantily clad women, the Daily Mail reports.
“There will be lots of nearly naked women doing the samba,” a source connected with show said. “The costumes have been designed to show off as much flesh as possible which means as little material as they can get away with.”
Rio is of course home to Carnival, and Brazil home to the samba, so we shouldn’t be surprised.
The production is expected to cost half of the $42 million that London spent, and is going to be based on the themes of sustainability, the Brazilian smile, and “gambiarra”, the ability to keep functioning with makeshift fixes.
See, Brazil can even make being frugal sound sexy.
Parade of nations
Each country will enter the Maracanã Stadium in alphabetical order, according to the host country’s language, which in Brazil is Portuguese. The only exceptions to this are Greece and Brazil. The host nation always marches in last, while Greece, because of Olympic tradition, always march in first.
Canada will be the 37th country announced.
Athletes will enter with their teams, led by an appointed flag bearer. Canada’s flag bearer this year is trampolinist Rosie MacLennan, who was this country’s only gold medallist four years ago in London.
Other notable flag bearers include tennis players Rafael Nadal (Spain), Andy Murray (Great Britain), and Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark). Swimmer Michael Phelps, he of 22-career Olympic medals, will carry the flag for the United States.
Yane Marques, who won bronze in London in the sport of modern pentathlon, will carry the flag for the host Brazilians.
This year’s edition of Team Canada includes 314 athletes, 186 female and 128 male. Canada won 18 medals (1 gold, 5 silver, 12 bronze) four years ago. This time around, Canada is hoping for 19 medals, and certainly more gold.
- 27 Canadian medal hopefuls for Rio 2016 Olympics
- Canada poised for first track gold medal since Donovan Bailey 20 years ago
- Canada to compete in 5 team sports at Rio 2016 Olympics
Pele to light the cauldron?
Something that’s always the subject of rumour and intrigue is who will light the Olympic cauldron. It’s a massive honour for any athlete/former athlete to receive.
When you think of Brazil, you think of soccer. And when you think of Brazilian soccer, you think of Pele. He never competed in an Olympic Games, but he did win three World Cups.
The Brazilian soccer legend is 75 years-old and appears to be the first choice for organizers. The problem for the moment is his health.
Pele has undergone numerous hip operations and walks with a cane.
Will Pele light the flame? I guess we’ll have to tune find out.