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The 31st Olympics, the first to be held in South America, formally opened on Friday with a sparkling ceremony drawn from Brazil’s vibrantly diverse culture and dedicated to its history and the environment and followed by a colourful procession of the world’s leading athletes, many in traditional garb, at the Macarana stadium.

1. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Former Brazilian athlete Vanderlei Cordeiro walks to light the Olympic cauldron with the Olympic torch during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olymics at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei/IANS)
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2. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Torch bearer Vanderlei de Lima lights the cauldron during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Li Ga/IANS)
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3. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Former Brazilian athlete Vanderlei Cordeiro waves to the audience after lighting the Olympic cauldron with the Olympic torch during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olymics at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei/IANS)
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4. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- The cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olymics at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Meng Yongmin/IANS)
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5. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- The Olympic flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olymics at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei/IANS)
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6. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- The Olympic flag (R) flies next to Brazil's national flag during the opening ceremony of the 31st Summer Olymic Games at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Wang Haofei/IANS)
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7. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- The delegation of Brazil parade into Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Li Ga/IANS)
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8. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

India’s ace shooter Abhinav Bindra leads the Indian Contingent at the opening ceremony of Rio Olympics 2016 in Brazil. (image: Twitter)

9. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Olympic Delegation parade into Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai/IANS)
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10. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen performs during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (IANS)

11. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

Fireworks explode over the Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5 (IANS)

12. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

(160805) -- RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 5, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Fireworks explode over the Maracana Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Aug. 5, 2016. ?Xinhua/Xu Zijian?(xr)
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13. RIO Olympics Opening Ceremony

India endured a largely disappointing day at the ongoing Rio Olympics with the men's hockey team and rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal proving to be the only bright sparks.
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