2016 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

Last August 6, 2016, the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics was held in the Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the event, a number of speakers made speeches, flags were hoisted, and athletes joined the parade.
The International Olympic Committee also showed a presentation showing the culture and history of Brazil. The presentation features landscapes and forests, the history of the Portuguese people, music, and samba. Some aspects of the ceremony focused on topics of environmental conservation and climate change.
Though the budget was considerably lower compared with past Olympic events, the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics received praises for including a number of entertaining performances and tackling issues of multiculturalism and climate change.
The preparations for the ceremony were headed by the creative directors Fernando Meirelles, Daniela Thomas, and Andrucha Waddington. Six thousand volunteers performed the dance choreographed by Deborah Colker.
Meirelles supported the fact that a smaller budget was allotted for the opening ceremony and just focused on compensating low budget with creativity.
To reflect the best in Brazilian music, Anitta, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil were invited to perform during the ceremony.
The 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony started with a music video featuring the song “Aquele Abraco” by Luiz Melodia and showing images of Rio de Janeiro. Then some performers clad in silver suits with giant silver sheet performed to the tune of “Samba de Verao.” Afterward, the IOC president Thomas Back was introduced, and the Brazilian National Anthem was led by Paulinho da Viola. Brazil’s flag was raised, and Brazilian athletes carried another 60 flags.
Then, some artistic performances were shown, including the homages paid to the spirit of gambiarra and to the Amazon rainforest. The presentations also showed how the Portuguese people arrived at Brazil, followed by numbers portraying the arrival of Europeans, Africans, and immigration of Arab and Japanese people.
Contemporary Brazil was represented by performance of a parkour group who crossed the stage and jumped on projections of building roofs.
Afterward, the favelas were represented using samba and funk carioca music. Elza Soares and Ludmilla sang also performed. Meanwhile, the rapper Marcelo D2 and singer Zeca Pagodinho performed together, followed by Karol Conka and MC Sofia. Some of the performances were used to portray conflicts, including maracatu and the bumba-meu-boi.
One of the major segments of the ceremony include showing a short video on anthropogenic climate change. The video was narrated by the Brazilian Award-nominee actress Fernanda Montenegro and British Academy Award-winning actress Judi Dench.
After the performances and presentations, the athletes marched into the stadium during the Parade of Nations. Some countries were greatly applauded, especially the team of Refugee Athletes.
The parade of nations was followed by mass parade of the 12 samba schools of Rio Carnival’s Special Group. Then, a song was performed by Anitta, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil as tribute to Rio Carnival.
Afterward, the first Olympic Laurel Award was given to the Kenyan runner and two-time Olympic champion Kipchoge Keino. He was accompanied by children flying dove-shaped white kites.

Budapest Drops Bid 2024

It seems that there are now only two remaining contenders to bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics: Los Angeles and Paris. This is the result of Budapest pulling out of the back as a consequence of the lack of political support for the events. It turns that activists played a great part by collecting signature from Hungarians who were not in favor of the Olympics.

The primary reason for the loss of support is the significant amount of budget required for hosting the Olympics.

Some of the organizers of the petition against bidding for the Olympics claimed that citizens fear that the cost for hosting the event will reach incredible amounts.

The same concern for budget also prompted other cities, including Rome and Hamburg, to bailed on the 2024 Olympics. On the other hand, Stockholm and Krakow stopped bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics, which now will be hosted Beijing.

When hosting the Olympics, the host city will be in charge of planning and funding the construction of all the sporting venues and other infrastructure projects that will be needed. In addition, the host city will have to take care of the security costs for all participants. Hotels will also be forced to construct additional rooms just to accommodate the number of guest athletes and tourists.

The bulk of these expenses will be shouldered by taxpayers.

Though some government leaders claim that the costs will be compensated by tickets sales, construction jobs, and promotion of tourism, economists comment that actual profits for hosting the Olympics is not that much.

For instance, during the 1976 Summer Games, though the mayor of Montreal declared that it is impossible for the Olympics to result in loss of income, the city was left with $1.5 billion debt that was not paid in full until 2006.

The Montreal’s case was considered an extreme one, cost overrun is constantly true for all Games.

The case of Montreal caused hesitation in some cities to bid for the 1984 Olympics. However, Los Angeles considered an alternative approach by relying heavily on private financing and also utilized existing stadiums as venues.

As for the more recent host cities of the Olympics, Russia supposedly spent $50 billion in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, whereas China shows no concern for expenses for the Beijing Olympics. Meanwhile, the 2016 host, Rio de Janeiro, is currently in ruins as a result of the extreme expenses for the Rio Olympics.

Obviously, the International Olympics Committee should address the problem in funding and develops measures that can minimize the costs for hosting these international sports events.