The 2016 Olympic Games were formally opened in a colourful and pulsating ceremony at Rio’s Maracana stadium. Broadcast to an estimated audience of three billion, the ceremony celebrated Brazil’s history and natural beauty, before former marathon runner Vanderlei de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron.
The build-up to Rio 2016 has been played out against a deep recession and political protests in Brazil.
The cauldron was lit by De Lima, who won bronze for Brazil in the marathon at the 2004 Games after he was grappled by a spectator while leading the race.
Football legend Pele had ruled himself out of performing the role saying he was not in the right “physical condition”.
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