Rio ready to welcome the world
The Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony is tonight, with the Estadio Maracanã all set to put on a sparkling show for the world.
The ceremony gets under way at 20.00 local time, with more than 70,000 fans and athletes from all over the world set to flock to the legendary stadium for a glittering event that will raise the curtain on the first Olympic Games to be held in South America.
Taking place in the carnival capital of the world, the ceremony will mark the start of two weeks of sporting excellence, excitement and high drama. Running until 21 August, Rio 2016 will feature an all-star cast topped by the likes of Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps.
The ceremony’s organisers have prepared a thrilling show brimming with light, samba and spectacular sets, and showcasing all the diversity and energy of Brazil. Around the globe, hundreds of millions of viewers will be tuning in to watch the show live.
As well as promoting peace and tolerance, the ceremony will also feature a call for everyone around the world to save the planet from climate change.
The athletes of the 207 delegations, which, for the very first time, include a team of refugees competing under the Olympic banner, will be proudly led out by their respective flagbearers on to the track at the Maracanã. Once the Parade of Nations is compete, the athletes will then join the rest of the world in savouring what promises to a memorable show.
We will have a report for you on the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, and all the best photos besides. Let the party begin!