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Jessica Plautz
Updated October 25, 2016

The Rio 2016 Olympics officially kicked off Friday night with an opening ceremony fit for Brazil.

Fernando Meirelles, the Brazilian director whose films include “City of God” and “The Constant Gardener,” was one of the creative directors of Friday night's ceremony.

The opening segment featured dazzling colors, with laser lights and 3D projects creating an intense display inside of Maracaña Stadium. While grand, the budget for Rio's opening ceremony was just a tenth of London's in 2012, according to CNN.

The organizers three themes for the show were Gambiarra—the Brazilian talent to create greatness from nothing—as well as Brazilian art and the search for peace on Earth.

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen made an appearance, walking the longest catwalk she'll ever walk, she said on Instagram.

Dance, a vital part of the Brazilian identity, is a foundation to much of the performance.

There are more than 11,000 athletes competing in the Rio 2016 Olympics, and each of them has received a seed to plant an “Olympic forest” in the city. The hope is that those seeds become a lasting tribute to the games.

The athletes from Greece—where the first Olympics took place in 776 BC—were first to enter Maracaña Stadium.

The Olympic torch was brought into the stadium by Gustavo Kuerten, a Brazilian tennis star, who then handed it off to Hortensia Marcari, a basketball player, and finally to Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, who lit the flame.

The Olympic Games will continue through August 21. Even if you can't make it to Rio, there are plenty of ways to follow along and watch your favorite athletes.  

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