Art And Culture

Olympic Games Open in Rio

Olympic Games Open in RioOlympic Games Open in Rio

With 10,500 athletes from 206 countries competing in 28 sports, the 2016 Summer Olympic Games were officially declared open on Friday, August 5, at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium, which hosted the 2014 World Cup final.

According to the games website, more than one billion people around the world watched the four-hour spectacular opening ceremony where athletes of different nations including Iran marched past the stadium. It started at 20:00 in Brazil – 23:00 GMT and 3:30 Saturday, August 6 Iran time.

Keeping up with tradition, Greece, the host of the original Ancient Games, was the first in the parade of nations and host Brazil entered last.

Iran's para-archer Zahra Nemati, who won a gold medal at the 2012 London games, was the flag bearer for the team. A total of 64 athletes, 55 men and 9 women, will compete in 15 fields.

On the first day of the games, Saturday, August 6, Iranian athletes are slated to compete in four fields of shooting, table tennis, rowing and cycling.

This year's Olympics has been overshadowed by a number of issues including Brazil’s political and economic crises, polluted waters, the Zika virus and delays to infrastructure building.

Further, in the past few days, the Olympic Village which was to host the athletes and media members has not been completely prepared. Many teams including Iran, Jamaica and Australia have complained about different issues regarding their hotel rooms such as plumbing, electrical, lighting and cleaning problems.

The games will continue through August 21.