From The Associated Press:
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — There’s nothing like the unique Brazilian vibe – and the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will see no shortage of samba, culture, diversity and history as the South American nation proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders.
Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil.
Since the event won’t able to avoid the issues that are gripping Brazil – a president facing impeachment, a deep recession and environmental threats – organizers made sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country’s magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the Olympic opening ceremony.
“The world is very tense and so is Brazil. We are also willing to tell the world to stop attacking our home. The world is threatened because of global warming. We are calling for action,” said Fernando Meirelles, one of the directors of the show.
Samba and pop music singers are expected to perform, including Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand.
But the climax of the show, the lighting of the cauldron, depends on whether Brazil’s most famous athlete – soccer star Pele – appears. He said this week he was invited to take part, but business deals were stopping him from doing it.
The cauldron was designed by American sculptor Anthony Howe, who told The Associated Press he was inspired by life in the tropics. There will be two cauldrons in Rio, one at the Maracana soccer stadium that is hosting the opening ceremony and another open …