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Rio 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony Starts Tonight

Rio 2016 Olympics Opening Ceremony Starts Tonight
The 2016 Olympic Games officially start in Rio on Friday with the opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium.

Athletes from 206 nations and a refugee team are in Brazil to compete in 28 sports and be watched by a global audience of billions.

The build-up has been dominated by a Russian doping scandal, the Zika virus and issues with the city’s security, infrastructure and venues.

But it is time for the sporting action to take centre stage.

These are the Games of the 31st Olympiad but are the 28th to be held as those in 1916, 1940 and 1944 did not take place because of war.

The Games – held in South America for the first time – officially take place between 5 and 21 August, but they have actually already started.

The opening ceremony is at midnight BST on Friday night but the action kicked off two days ago with the women’s football.

Defending Olympic men’s tennis champion Andy Murray will be Great Britain’s flag bearer inside Rio’s Maracana stadium on Friday.

An estimated three billion people will watch the ceremony, which has taken five years to produce and includes 300 dancers, 5,000 volunteers and 12,000 costumes.

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Briton Dame Judi Dench are confirmed to have roles in the production before the 207 competing teams take part in the Parade of Nations.

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