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Rio kicks off Olympic opening ceremony

Rio kicks off Olympic opening ceremony

SATURDAY, August 06, 2016
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Olympics-Rio/Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics got underway Friday, with spectators to be taken on a journey throughtime in the three-hour, low-budget event.

Cash-strapped Brazil has had to keep in check spending on itsOlympics, the first to be held in a South American city. The openingceremony will reportedly cost about half of the 42-million-dollarextravaganza in London four years ago.
Italian executive producer Marco Balich nevertheless said on the eveof the event that it was "the coolest show I ever produced and workedwith." Organizers expected 50,000 people in the audience at theiconic Maracana Stadium, including more than 40 world leaders.
The show is built around the concepts of environmental protection,diversity and joy, and will "start in the beginning of life and wewrap up with the future," creative director Andrucha Waddington said.
Rio organizers have managed to keep under wraps who will light theOlympic cauldron during the ceremony. Speculation had been high thatBrazilian football legend Pele would get the honour, but he announcedon Friday that he would not attend due to health reasons.
The UOL media outlet reported that former tennis world number oneGustavo Kuerten would be the one to light the Olympic cauldron, asthe last of the 12,494 people who have carried the torch since it waslit in April at the birthplace of the ancient games in Olympia,Greece.
The Rio Olympics will run through August 21. Many of the 10,500athletes from 206 countries who will compete in the Games for 306gold medals were to join the traditional Parade of Nations during theopening ceremony.
The Games will be declared officially open by interim President Michel Temer. He has taken over the reins of the country from DilmaRousseff, who has been suspended and is facing impeachmentproceedings later this month.