Olympics opening ceremony

Live-blogging the opening ceremony …

With a Rio 2016 Olympic torch, at the Coke extravaganza.

With a Rio 2016 Olympic torch, at the Coke extravaganza.

6.40 p.m.  NBC’s Brazil tribute has me in sobs and tears. I’m a mush.

7.10 p.m.  Not certain what I just saw, but I like the giant foil sopapillas.

7.15 p.m. Nice effect, this stripped down national anthem.  So different from the boister and bluster of soccer venues with top-of-lungs screaming of the national anthem.

7.22 p.m.  Rain forest?  I’m betting this reads better in the stadium than on international television.

7.24 p.m.  Third commercial break in the first 20 minutes?  NBC, you are making me grumpy.

7.26 p.m.  I’ve seen this United commercial too many times already.  Wishing United Airlines would put as much money into finding me a hotel room after stranding me in Chicago last week.

7.28 p.m.  Auggie wants attention.

7.30 p.m.  Loving the color and graphics of the slave sequence. Meanwhile, Auggie chews on his collar.

7.33 p.m.  Another commercial.  Fun fact: my first-ever outside-of-USA airport was the Rio airport in 1994.  And here’s a photo from the subsequent 2001 trip to Brazil:

On that same mountaintop.

On that same mountaintop.

7.38 p.m.  I feel like I’m watching a Mission: Impossible sequence . . . . And the music is so caper-film.

7.40 p.m.  Cool effect, that aeroplane.  Rio is truly lovely.  Oops — another commercial. But that Folger’s commercial made me cry too.

7.44 p.m.  There we are. Tom Jobim (well, his grandson) and “The Girl from Ipanema.” The song had to show up soon.

7.48 p.m.  “Cultural cannibals.”  Well then.  But oh, how I love hearing this much Portuguese being spoken and sung!  Such a lovely language. . . .

7.54 p.m. H.R. PUFFENSTUFF, right here on the telly again!  And all those wigs . . . .  But let’s dance now!

7.57 p.m.  We all love some fireworks.  Cue obligatory Michael Phelps sighting.

8.06 p.m.  Athletes’ forest. A legacy. Nice touch.  Maracanã bathed in green. And the subsequent Christopher Waltz Samsung commercial was truly entertaining. But a remake of Ben-Hur???  Tres mal!

8.10 p.m.  A teaser for the gymnastics? Give me the opening ceremonies!

8.15 p.m.  Parade of Nations.  Greece leads as always.  I shall pause for a while, although I’m heartened to hear the cheers for Allemagne.  What’s with these athlete-leading tricycles?

8.22 p.m.  The Argentinians have arrived.  Love Argentina. Love.

8.23 p.m.  Independent athletes?  Was that Barat I just saw?  And I LOVE the Australian seersucker jackets.

8.31 p.m.  Oh, the Belgians.  WOW — I love the Benin outfits!  And there’s a tearful Bolivian.  What a beautiful sight.  The Botswana outfits are classy indeed. And is any country name more fun than “Burkina Faso”?

8.40 p.m.  Cameroon!! Cambodia!  Such colors . . . . Oh Canada.  The Qataris and the Khazaks.  Alphabet soup is fun.  Must stop now for a while.  I’m being banal.


9.05 p.m.  RAFA!!! Viva Espana! Auggie is now sound asleep.

9.07 p.m.  Estados Unidos!  Was that Chachi I just saw?  But some of these haircuts. . . . .

9.11 p.m.  Auggie is now awake.  Apparently some dog, somewhere in the universe, barked.

9.42 p.m.  Madagascar outfits look a bit like pajamas.  But oh, how I love the orange Malaysian color!

9.43 p.m.  Oh, NBC, quit the damn cheerleading.  I don’t need to see groups of American athletes posing for your cameras.  Show the international scene, please?

9.50 p.m.  Mozambique dresses as foresters?  Oh!!  I want the Mongolian flag-bearer’s outfit!


10.17 p.m. São Tomé and Príncipe?  That’s a new one for me.

10.19 p.m.  Oops.  Those Serbian skirts do not read well on the telly.  And bully for the Syrians who have persevered.

10.30 p.m.  Czech blazers?  Check ’em out.  Not certain how I feel about the pockets on the bias.  Tonga?  Omilord.  Oh my heavens.  Slack-jawed.

10.36 p.m.  LOVE those shawl lapels on the Uganda delegation jackets!

10.43 p.m.  The Refugee Team.  Powerful stuff, this.  The audience stands, as they should.  I’m in tears.

10.44 p.m.  And now, Brasil!!! Order and progress (sort of).  It’s a beautiful sight indeed.

10.51 p.m.  COOL.  The Olympic Rings in green.  And more pyro.  I’m sold.  Christ the Redeemer bathed in green and yellow, the Brazilian colors.  Nice touch, Rio.

10.55 p.m.  And now, speeches.  “Unity in diversity.”  And I swear that American athlete looks like Scott Baio ca. 1985.

11.02 p.m.  OK, Mr. Chairman, your speech has gone on long enough.

11.08 p.m.  A lovely tribute.  And now the flag. And a smart call on the part of the planners, these children singing the Olympic anthem (even with the maudlin lyrics, and the quasi-Victorian excess of the anthem).

11.17 p.m.  Local color time. Samba! But it’s a bit much, and muddled.  Perhaps in the stadium, this would work well?  On the telly, it’s much of a much. I understand why — we can’t have an opening ceremony without samba — but it didn’t work.

11.22 p.m.  The flame.  Finally.  Guga!  His joy is undiminished after these years.  And the New York Times called it correctly.  Vanderlei de Lima.  Well done, Rio.  And that sculpture!

Let the games begin. . . .

And with that, boa noite for now!

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