Last night, the 31st Olympic games opened in Rio, damning us all to a few weeks of pretending to care about what effectively boils down to a scaled up version of your school sports day.
Not to sound overly cynical, I genuinely respect the athleticism involved in the events but after watching a few games now I’m well aware that this country only cares from the moment we win our first gold.
However, if you’d like to try and muster up the barest amount of enthusiasm, or at least pretend to care, here’s a few of the highlights from last night’s opening ceremony.
The ceremony, which was broadcast to over 3 billion people, took place at Rio’s Maracana stadium and celebrated Brazil’s history, culture and natural beauty, the BBC reports.
The Olympic Cauldron was lit by Vanderlei de Lima – a late replacement for football legend Pelé, who pulled out at the last minute – a bronze medal winning marathon runner who last competed in the 2004 games where he was attacked by a spectator, causing him to lose the race.
The ceremony itself was spectacular, despite having a lower budget than the 2012 London games ceremony, and fans were treated to a breathtaking show full of dancing, music, and of course fireworks.
Singer-songwriter Paulinho da Viola led the stadium in an emotional acoustic version of the national anthem while the country’s history was beamed onto screens around the stadium.
No one can accuse the history of not being comprehensive either, from the first cell dividing to the cultural contributions of the myriad of people who call Brazil home, the ceremony showed it all.
International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach praised the games, saying:
All Brazilians can be very proud tonight, with the Olympic Games as a catalyst, you have achieved in only seven years what generations before you could only dream of.
You have transformed Rio de Janiero into a modern metropolis and made it even more beautiful. You managed this at a very difficult time in Brazilian history. We have always believed in you.
Andy Murray led the British team out into the stadium along with 70 of Team GB’s 366 athletes. Even the Russians, who’ve been involved in a doping scandal were warmly welcomed.
No team, however, was greeted with more cheers than the inspiring refugee team, who Bach said were there to send ‘a message of hope to the millions of refugees around the globe’.
Twitter, of course, was all over it…
The Olympics opening ceremony looks like a Beyoncé show.
— Taryn Finley (@_TARYNitUP) August 6, 2016
Refugee team receives incredible welcome at the Olympics Opening Ceremony https://t.co/TxdYE5B9CD
— john pickens (@jcinpc) August 6, 2016
2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony takeaways: Tonga, Gisele steal the show https://t.co/JFE0iOr07m
— Cristina Natali (@Cristinanatal4) August 6, 2016Advertisement
The Olympics opening ceremony was so lit.
— Hakeem (@taiwojabita) August 6, 2016
Although some people weren’t impressed…
Olympics Opening Ceremony. A great 2-3 hours to switch off TV & work without concern I might be missing something even remotely interesting.
— Brady Haran (@BradyHaran) August 5, 2016
People think the Olympics opening ceremony looked a bit like a giant vagina https://t.co/5yPaEstdAB
— Anthony Robert James (@C23Anthony) August 6, 2016
"Did you watch the olympics opening ceremony?" "No was it good?" "I'm not a big fan of Gisele's dress"
Well that summed it up
— Jilberto (@jilbertos) August 6, 2016
The rio olympics opening ceremony is boring but colorful. #rio2016
— Abiodun Adetona (@Adetona77) August 6, 2016
Unfortunately, most people were just talking about this guy from Tonga…
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) August 6, 2016
Tonga's uniform: Massage oil. Just massage oil. #OpeningCeremony
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 6, 2016
Moving to Tonga. Their national dress is a six pack covered in baby oil. #OpeningCeremony
— David Morgan (@thisisdavid) August 6, 2016
Thanks to Tonga's flag bearer, sales of Johnson's Baby Oil has gone thru the roof! #OpeningCeremony
— Jimmy Korderas (@jimmykorderas) August 6, 2016
And now we patiently wait for Great Britain’s first gold medal…