The 78, 838 capacity Maracana stadium was filled to the brim for the official opening ceremony of the biggest sporting event on earth.
Athletes from 206 nations and a refugee team are in Brazil to compete in 306 sporting events and be watched by a global audience of more than 3.6 billion people.
The build-up has been dominated by a Russian doping scandal, the Zika virus and issues with the city’s security, infrastructure and venues.
These are the Games of the 31st Olympiad but are the 28th to be held as those in 1916, 1940 and 1944 did not take place because of war.
Brazilian football legend, Pele who is arguably the greatest player of all time was initially chosen to light up the historic Olympic light but declined the offer few hours to the opening ceremony sighting health issues as the reason behind his action. he therefore paved way for another Brazilian legend, Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima.
Vanderlei is a former long-distance runner who specialised in marathons. He received international recognition after a spectator, laicized Irish priest Neil Horan, attacked him at the 2004 Summer Olympics marathon while he was leading the race at 35 km. Following the incident he fell back from first to third place, winning the bronze medal. He was later awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship for that race.
The other highlights of his career were wins at the Tokyo International Marathon and Hamburg Marathon, becoming the regional cross country champion in 1995, and winning the marathon at the Pan American Games twice consecutively in 1999 and 2003. He lit the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Team Nigeria was not left out of the gala at the opening ceremony.
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