The Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero get under way this week. More than 10,000 athletes will compete in the first Games to be held in South America.
The run up to the Games has been fairly low-key, as you may have noticed. As Rio prepares to welcome athletes and fans from (nearly) all round the world, organisers and governing bodies will be no doubt in a relaxed mood having been without serious concerns over athlete safety, drugs cheats, and unfinished stadia.
All jokes aside and despite the calamities in the build-up, the Game should still provide quite a spectacle – starting with the opening ceremony.
When is it?
On the night of Friday August 5th or the morning of Saturday 6th August, depending on where you’re watching.
The ceremony will get under way at 8pm local time, which is midnight on Friday evening in the UK. Given it’ll probably last a while, it may be one to catch while eating your kebab after a few soft drinks.
Where is it?
Rio de Janeiro, funnily enough. It is being held at the Maracana Stadium, the 80,000 capacity venue which sits at the foot of the Passion of the Christ statue and held the World Cup final in 2014.
What can we expect?
As with every opening ceremony, there are a few prerequisites.
Tedious speeches from unknown officials, the lighting of the Olympic flame, the endless procession of athletes – you know the drill.
But then it’s up to Brazilian film director Fernanro Meirelles and producer Daniela Thomas to do their worst.
As you may remember, London 2012’s version included the Queen jumping from a helicopter and Tim Berners-Lee sat at a computer doing very little.
Reports suggest that this time round, the Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen will be mugged on her way down the catwalk to reflect the perils of life in the city. Welcome to Rio.
It’s set to be a low-key affair in relation to London, with only around 10% of the budget of the event four years ago.
To be fair to Meirelles, he says that he would be ‘ashamed to waste what London spent in a country where we need sanitation, where education needs money.
‘So I’m very glad we’re not spending money like crazy. I’m happy to work with this low budget because it makes sense for Brazil.’