Skip to navigationSkip to content
HEY MARACANA

The Rio Olympics opening ceremonies, in spectacular photos

Reuters/Brian Snyder
Color portrait at the back of the stage.
  • Johnny Simon
By Johnny Simon

Deputy Photo Editor

Published Last updated on This article is more than 2 years old.

Brazil emphasized its identity as a diverse mosaic in its opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The ceremonies offered a colorful look at the music and culture of the host country with numerous dance numbers, an appearance of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, and the big reveal of the identity of the Olympic torch carrier: Brazilian marathoner Vanderlei De Lima. It also acknowledged more serious topics, like the country’s long history of slavery and the imminent threat of climate change.

Here are some of the images that defined the night:

AP/Jae C. Hong)
Former Brazilian tennis player Gustavo Kuerten arrives with the Olympic flame.
Reuters/Reinhard Krause
The Olympic cauldron is lit.
Reuters/Damir Sagolj
Brazilian fans celebrate.
Reuters/Damir Sagolj
The arrival of athletes from Brazil.
Reuters/Brian Snyder
Colored portraits at the back of the stage.
Reuters/Ivan Alvarado
Performers take part in the opening ceremonies.
Reuters/Mike Blake
A dancer who appeared throughout the night.
Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
Dancers in vibrant colors.
Reuters/David Gray
A dancer performs solo.
Reuters/Mike Blake
Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
Performers set against a stunning backdrop.
Reuters/Ivan Alvarado
A dance that referenced Brazil’s history of slavery.
Fireworks over the Maracana stadium.
Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski
Fireworks light up the sky.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.