What you missed at Rio 2016: Opening ceremony officially kicks off Olympics
- The opening ceremony officially kicked off the Rio Olympics without glitches.
- Amid Brazil’s multiple crises and a lack of excitement for the Games, the opening ceremony was enough for Brazilians to temporarily put aside their discontent, Stephanie Nolen reports.
- Rosie MacLennan was Canada’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony. Here’s a deeper look at her Olympic journey.
- A national push to get more young girls involved in sports as beginners is finally starting to pay off, Cathal Kelly writes, as the Canadian women’s rugby, basketball and soccer teams are expected to excel in Rio.
- Brazil has pulled together Olympic athletes from nations around the world to help it succeed at the Games: Read Stephanie Nolen’s report.
- When the Olympics get under way, swimmers will have a distracting challenge ahead: The pool is surrounded by spectator stands, a rarity in the sport, and it’ll get unusually loud. Here’s Grant Robertson’s explanation of how athletes plan to tackle that challenge.
- Rio residents and Olympians have another gruelling endurance sport to contend with: navigating the city’s worsening traffic. Read Ingrid Peritz’s report.
- Take a look at photographer John Lehmann and Stephanie Nolen’s peek at the city preparing for the Summer Games.
WHAT YOU MISSED AT THE RIO OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY
Leo Correa/AP Photo
Perhaps the most significant thing to happen at the 2016 opening ceremonies was that nothing happened. No disasters, no glitches (even interim president Michel Temer was booed as expected). With the run-up to the Games dominated by Zika, corruption, crime and terrorism fears, the curtain-raiser was something that went right. Sure, there are still plenty of problems outside the stadium doors, and potential for more to come for the duration of the Games, but for a few hours it was kept at bay in an atmosphere of joy, harmony, and great music. Even some of the athletes came marching into the stadium to samba rhythms.
Matt Slocum/AP Photo
The producers of these opening ceremonies said they weren't going to try to match the high-tech extravaganzas of the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympics, and they didn't. But they compensated with the party-loving exuberance that Brazilians are famous for, putting on a show that paid homage to the country's diverse, multi-racial population and its tremendous creativity. The ceremony showcased Brazil's fabulous musical talent, and was a toe-tapping spectacle for those lucky enough to be there.
Indigenous Brazilians form shapes with extra-long elastic bands in celebration of native art. Quite spectacular. pic.twitter.com/0bh3OQMc8B— Ingrid Peritz (@iperitz) August 5, 2016
Jae C. Hong/AP Photo
The team of refugees competing under the Olympic flag got the second-biggest cheer of the night, after Brazil, providing an uplifting antidote to the cynicism surrounding the Olympics. The 10 men and women from Africa and the Middle East have no home and no flag, so they marched under the Olympics' symbol. Their flag bearer was Rose Nathike Lokonyen, a 21-year-old who fled war in South Sudan and ran her first race in a refugee camp in northern Kenya. Hers and other stories embody the spirit of determination that the Olympics are supposed to be all about.
- Ingrid Peritz in Rio de Janeiro
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEKEND
Team Canada is comprised of four players: two men and two women. Genie Bouchard and Gabriela Dabrowski are teaming up for women's doubles, while and Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil represent Canada on the men's side.
Bouchard, making her first Olympics appearance, is the big name on the Canadian tennis roster, but Nestor is the most accomplished. He is widely considered to be one of the best doubles players of all time. Matches are slated to begin at 10 a.m. (all times ET), with individual start times TBD.
The Canadian women's basketball team tips off their tournament against China. Leading their medal quest will be six-foot guard Kia Nurse, who's resume includes back-to-back NCAA women's basketball titles at the University of Connecticut and gold at the FIBA Americas and Pan Am Games. She's coming off surgery for a sports hernia but is expected to be in top form in Rio. The team has a decent shot at the podium. Game time is 1:15 p.m.
Canada is not the rowing powerhouse it once was. Best hopes are high for Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee, who are expected to contend for a silver medal in women's lightweight double sculls. The women's eight team is also expected to win a silver medal. Rowing heats begin at 7:30 a.m.
What else is happening Saturday:
- Women’s soccer vs. Zimbabwe (2 p.m.)
- Men’s field hockey vs. Germany (5 p.m.)
- Swimming; Men’s and women’s 400m IM finals women’s 100m butterfly semis, men’s 400m freestyle final, men’s 100m breaststroke semis, women’s 400m freestyle relay final (9 p.m.)
- Women’s rugby vs. Japan and Brazil (11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.). Rugby sevens are making their debut at these Olympics; here’s a fuller explanation of what that involves.
The Canadian men's volleyball team faces the United States at 3 p.m. It will be Canada's first Olympic match in the men's game in 24 years.
In the women's 3M synchro finals, Canadian Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware are projected to medal.
What else is happening Sunday:
- Swimming; Women’s 100m butterfly final, men’s 200m freestyle semis, women’s 100m breaststroke semis, men’s 100m breaststroke final, women’s 400m freestyle final, men’s 100m backstroke semis, men’s 400m freestyle relay final (9 p.m.)
- Women’s rugby vs. Great Britain (7:30 a.m.)