Despite the controversy of being the host nation, last night, Rio De Janeiro welcomed the world with open arms to the 2016 Olympic Games. The first time for not only Brazil, but South America and what a brilliant performance. 3 billion people were entertained for 4 hours with beautiful dancers, colourful fireworks, peace, athletes, the rainforest and more dancing – all from the Maracanã stadium.
What really stood out for me throughout this opening ceremony, was that unlike other hosts who (quite rightly) highlight iconic aspects of their country, for instance London gave thanks to the National Health Service, Her Majesty The Queen and more. But Rio, (I feel) particularly focused on friendship, climate change and unity with the rest of the world. I think the world needed to see that, given all horrible, scary things that are going on.
2 personal highlights:
I thought it was fantastic for a group of refugees to come as a team; the stadium roared and gave them the biggest cheer, they really were welcomed and made to feel like they have a home in Rio for the next couple of weeks (I also thought it was respectful that people did not boo the Russians).
The 10 athletes are from the Refugee Olympic Team are:
- Rami Anis (M) country of origin – Syria; host NOC – Belgium; sport – swimming
- Yiech Pur Biel (M): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 800m
- James Nyang Chiengjiek (M): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 400m
- Yonas Kinde (M): Country of origin – Ethiopia; host NOC – Luxembourg; sport – athletics, marathon
- Anjelina Nada Lohalith (F): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 1500m
- Rose Nathike Lokonyen (F): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 800m
- Paulo Amotun Lokoro (M): Country of origin – South Sudan; host NOC – Kenya; sport – athletics, 1500m
- Yolande Bukasa Mabika (F): Country of origin – Democratic Republic of the Congo; host NOC – Brazil; sport – judo, -70kg
- Yusra Mardini (F): Country of origin – Syria; host NOC – Germany; sport – swimming
- Popole Misenga (M): Country of origin – Democratic Republic of the Congo; host NOC – Brazil; sport – judo, -90kg
Not only are they proving that anything is possible, they are a symbol of hope for the thousands of refugees around the world; they also remind the world that they too, are human.
Source: BBC 2016
I loved that the Olympic Rings were represented as trees this year. Not only does this represent Brazil’s stunning rainforest and highlight that we need to stay green; I liked how each ring was the same. Representing that, no matter which continent you live on or which country you are representing at the games, we are all human, we’re all the same and we are united. (image: BBC, 2016).
What sports are you looking forward to watching?
© 2016 Naomi Laws. All rights reserved.