Photos: Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics

  • People watch fireworks from the Maracana Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony, from the Mangueira favela. 
  • The Olympic cauldron (top) is raised next to a sculpture during the opening ceremony. 
  • Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima prepares to light the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Aug. 5, 2016. 
  • Former basketball player Hortencia Marcari carries the Olympic flame during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on Aug. 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • The Olympic flag is carried during the opening ceremony, Aug. 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. 
  • Residents of Mangueira favela watch the opening ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics on TV, Aug. 5, 2016. 
  • Members of the Brazil team take part during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on Aug. 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on Aug. 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Michael Phelps of the United States carries the flag during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • The Canadian athletes take pictures during the athletes’ parade at the opening ceremony, Aug 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Artists perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maracana Stadium, Aug. 5, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Performers take part in the opening ceremony for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Aug. 5, 2016. 
  • Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on Aug. 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Performers take part in the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on August 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on Aug, 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  • Gisele Bundchen walks on stage as ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ during the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Aug. 5, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Dancers perform during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Maracana Stadium on Aug. 5, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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The Opening Ceremony for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics brings together athletes and fans from around the world.

The event takes place at Maracana Stadium in Rio and includes the Parade of Nations and theatrics celebrating the host country of Brazil. Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen will participate in the ceremony, which will end with a carnival. Film director Fernando Meirelles, one of the show’s three creative directors, said, “I hope that the Opening Ceremony will be a drug for depression in Brazil.”

“Brazilians can look at it and say we are a cool people, we are different ethnic groups, we live together, we never went to war, we are peaceful, we know how to enjoy life and we tend to be happy,” Meirelles said.

Swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated athlete in Olympics history (22 medals), was selected by his teammates to serve as the flag bearer for the United States.

More than 10,000 athletes from 206 countries, plus a team of refugees competing under the Olympic flag, will compete in 28 sports. The U.S. has the biggest team with 554 athletes in sports ranging from archery to wrestling.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography.

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