The Olympic village opening ceremony is an informal affair with a tinge of national sentimentality.
Athletes have been at the village for more than a week already, but the official opening always marks the flag raising of the Olympians’ country, to announce to the rest of the village that they have truly arrived. Here’s a glimpse into how it all went down on Tuesday, when the Canadian flag went up in Rio’s Olympic village:
Chef de mission and three-time Olympic medallist Curt Harnett let Team Canada know prior to the march that he believes “this is the strongest Canadian Olympic team yet” in his mind and that he expects great things from this group at Rio 2016 before the team marched out of its quarters.
Snaking their way through the buildings housing their neighbours and rivals, Canada marched toward the welcoming stage, led by its men’s volleyball players, some of whom decided to flex their muscles for the photographer, who was clearly unprepared for the full gun show.
Given Canada’s location at the village, the march took the red and white (many in black) to the ceremony past the Olympic rings. Here’s another look below at the village’s most coveted feature posted earlier on Team Canada’s Instagram.
Impressively clad in their Hudson’s Bay Team Canada uniform, the men and women of the maple leaf nation arrived on scene for their flag raising and a bit of entertainment.
Like school children on a field trip, Canada’s soon-to-be Rio Olympians took in the spectacle at the village opening ceremony featuring Brazilian dancers who put on a colourful, global show, and a few of weren’t shy to take part…
Finally it was time for the maple leaf to fly at the Olympic village welcoming ceremony to make Canada’s inclusion official. Unfortunately, a malfunction (the flag was caught between the cords) kept the maple leaf from flying alongside the Olympic emblem and the colours of participating nations Angola, Fiji and Malaysia, though the meaningful gesture wasn’t lost on anyone as O Canada accompanied the flag’s raising.
While that concluded the formal affair, Olympians continued the festivities on their own.
Olympic Games Opening Ceremony will be on August 5 at the Maracana, featuring the Parade of Nations that will see Team Canada march out for the world.
Team Canada’s Olympian count at the moment stands at 314 athletes.