The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro commenced Friday night with an opening ceremony that made a global plea to reverse climate change and conserve the Earth's resources.
It's Brazil's first time hosting the Olympics. In fact, it's the first time any South American country has welcomed more than 200 nations' athletes for the historic games.
The opening ceremonies' planning committee put on a more earthy, funky and down-to-Earth experience than previous summertime host countries like London and Beijing. Part of that focus was calling on all nations to save the environment, an almost ironic plug considering the neglected state that parts of Rio are in despite the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.
When Rio lectures us abt pollution & so-called "global warming," but no one can drink their water. #OpeningCeremony pic.twitter.com/wMmtAIhaBU— Not THAT Ben Crystal; the other one. (@Bennettruth) August 6, 2016
"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.
The ceremony opened with a visual story of Brazil's history, including the still, beautiful Brazilian rainforest before Europeans arrived in the country many hundreds of years ago and other people have followed. As the country's history unfolds on the floor of the arena, the mood changes and suddenly, viewers are reminded of the effects of a growing international population: climate change.
A short film is shown detailing the threats global warming poses to major coastal international cities, which will be covered by the ocean if the glaciers continue melting.
Olympics opening ceremonies are often a chance for the host country to lay out its history or special message to countless viewers, but Rio is the first to make such a global call for preserving the environment.