Tonight’s Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Olympic Games, to be televised from Rio de Janeiro by NBC, will showcase Brazilian culture, diversity and history as the country becomes the first South American nation to host the Olympics. But don’t expect to hear much about the Zika virus, incomplete preparations, security concerns or Brazil’s current political upheaval.
“Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil,” the AP reports. “The event won’t focus on issues that are gripping Brazil — a president facing impeachment, a deep recession and environmental threats. But organizers made sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country’s magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the Olympic opening ceremony.”
Said Fernando Meirelles, one of the directors of the show: “The world is very tense and so is Brazil. We are also willing to tell the world to stop attacking our home. The world is threatened because of global warming. We are calling for action.”
The report adds: “Samba and pop music singers are expected to perform, including Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand.
“But Brazil’s most famous athlete — soccer star Pele — will not appear. He said this week he was invited to take part, but business deals were stopping him from participating. That leaves intact the Olympic mystery of who might light the cauldron.”