11:52 p.m. ET: The cauldron is stunning. The fireworks show is mesmerizing. It doesn’t matter what you heard about Brazil before today. They are ready for the Olympics and put on a great show.
11:49 p.m. ET: And it all starts with Brazilian tennis player Gustavo Kuerten running the torch into the stadium and passing it off to basketball player Hortencia Marcari. She hands off the torch to Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, who lights the cauldron to thunderous applause.
11:46 p.m. ET: Steady clap for the entrance of the Olympic flame. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for!
11:41 p.m. ET: Two-time gold medalist Brazilian sailor Robert Scheidt took the Olympic oath on behalf of all the athletes.
11:30 p.m. ET: Lots of Brazilian Olympic legends carrying the Olympic flag around Maracana. Crowd couldn’t be happier!
11:25 p.m. ET: The legendary Kenyan runner Kip Keino wants everyone to have food, shelter and education. Sometimes I’m sure we all forget how lucky we are to have those things when so many people, even some athletes here, don’t have those things.
11:15 p.m. ET: “In this Olympic world, there is one universal law for everybody: In this Olympic world, we are all equal,” the IOC president says, calling the refugee team “an enrichment.”
11:05 p.m. ET: The motto of this Olympics is “a new world,” and they’re saying a new world is born today. The president of the IOC called Rio a “model metropolis.” “We have always believed in you,” he said.
10:49 p.m. ET: The Team USA procession took minutes. Some of these countries take just a few seconds! Wild.
10:44 p.m. ET: It’s amazing how it looks like no one gets up during the athletic procession. Everyone in Maracana wants to see every athlete.
9:51 p.m. ET: A lot of Phelps’ teammates unfortunately couldn’t walk with him tonight — such a bummer! Also missing: April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian. Hope they’re watching from home!
9:02 p.m. ET: There has been no greater cheer than for the Independent Olympic Athletes. We’re Team USA all the way, but will be cheering for those incredible athletes.
8:52 p.m. ET: It’s so funny to watch the athletes walk in with their phones — probably snapping and sharing it with their friends … just like Us!
8:51 p.m. ET: Here come the athletes! Don’t forget the United States is now coming in with “E,” based on the Portuguese translation.
8:50 p.m. ET: They just announced that every athlete will plant a native Brazilian seed and the Athlete’s Forest will be a legacy in Rio.
8:47 p.m. ET: A flower is growing in the middle of Maracana Stadium! Small, but mighty. “I swear that a flower has been born,” the narrator says.
8:45 p.m. ET: Lots of singing in Portuguese from the audience. Followed by talk about carbon dioxide caused by use of oil and coal.
8:30 p.m. ET: The “Girl from Ipanema” has arrived! Yes, Gisele is in the house, stunning and sparkling! No surprise, but Gisele Bündchen just owned that runway. Her best walk yet? I think yes.
8:28 p.m. ET: It is lit up in here with the calls for everyone to use their phone flashlights.
8:13 p.m. ET: This opening ceremony is all about honoring the amazing animals and nature found in Brazil and it is majestic! The opening ceremony always has a kind of Cirque du Soleil feel. Rio’s does not disappoint.
8:09 p.m. ET: It’s not our national anthem, but there is something very special about everyone being on their feet to listen to the orchestra and the Brazilian national anthem.
8:01 p.m. ET: And we begin!
7:53 p.m. ET: What do 60,000 people do while they’re anxiously awaiting the opening ceremony to start? The wave, of course!
7:24 p.m. ET: The Kiss Cam (called the “beige” here in Rio) is alive and well at the opening ceremonies, and the crowd just went wild for a same-sex kiss between two men.
7:17 p.m. ET: And the opening ceremony preshow begins! They are promising everyone will dance.
He’s ready. #USA
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 5, 2016
4:50 p.m ET: Soon the stadium will be filled, and 3 billion eyes will be on Maracana Stadium. But for now, it’s still a little quiet.
4:48 p.m. ET: Lots of action backstage! The performers have clearly been counting down. There is so much energy backstage and all the performers look eager to get out there. Lots of the performers are in blue and silver (including silver lipstick!) and makeup in a traditional style.
ORIGINAL STORY: At long last! The 2016 Rio Olympics kicked off on Friday, August 5, at 7 p.m. ET with performances, bright lights and plenty of national pride and spirit. The opening ceremonies, which are taking place at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, will showcase the world’s best athletes, including several familiar U.S. superstars such as Michael Phelps, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas.
Members of Team USA are wearing uniforms designed by Ralph Lauren, made especially for the Rio Olympics. Phelps, who is the flag bearer for Team USA, will don a blazer that glows, a futuristic garment meant to spotlight the “classic American tailoring out of New York with innovative technology developed in Silicon Valley.”
The ceremony will include traditional Olympic features like the oath and the parade of nations, along with some unique celebrations highlighting Brazilian culture. Though it hasn’t yet been announced who will have the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron, fans have speculated that Brazilian soccer legend Pelé will be the last to bear the torch.
NBC will be broadcasting the opening ceremony on a one-hour delay in the Eastern time zone (including the livestream). Check back throughout the night for live updates of the opening ceremony!
Us Weekly’s Cara Sprunk is in Rio for the festivities and will be sending dispatches of the action live from the scene.
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