Rio puts on a fitting opening ceremony: a little muddled but unavoidably absorbing | Barney Ronay

On a clammy night in the Maracana Stadium, Rio put aside its Olympic troubles for a kitschy, trilby-hatted celebration of human ultimacy

And so we’re off. Eight years, two discredited presidents and an endless smear of negative publicity in the making, Rio 2016 finally juddered into life with an opening ceremony that was at times delightful, at others a little rickety and home-made.

Let’s face it, nobody likes opening ceremonies. Even Danny Boyle’s wonderful pageant of decline and whimsy and creative nostalgia at London 2012 was basically a lot of things going on for a long time before some sport was allowed to happen, albeit redeemed on that occasion by the genuinely rare achievement of not being brain-achingly mundane, facile, or clogged with schmaltz.

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