Flagbearer Anna Meares’ beaming smile said it all as she led an exuberant Aussie team at the opening ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games today.
With competition starting tomorrow for many, only 105 of Australia’s 421-strong line-up unpacked their Sportscraft-designed retro green and gold blazers for the Parade of Nations.
But revered Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles, the ceremony’s creative director, made it an event to cherish for those who did have time to recover from the Samba-fuelled celebration.
Watched by 80,000 screaming fans in Maracana Stadium – and an estimated TV audience of over a billion – he turned on a spectacular multi-media opening to the 31st Olympiad, and on a fraction of the usual budget.
Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen turned up the heat as she walked down the longest runway of her life, while dancers and light shows delivered a largely conservational message.
Now it’s down to the serious business with Australia’s first chance at gold in the pool expected to come as early as 11.30am tomorrow in the men's 400m freestyle final, followed by the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay showdown at 12.24pm.