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PIX: Indians upbeat at welcome ceremony in Rio

Last updated on: August 03, 2016 15:02 IST
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Team India

IMAGE: Indian contingent at the formal Welcome Ceremony. Photograph: Twitter.

A short display of Brazilian culture, including their music and dance, greeted the Indian contingent at the formal 'Welcome Ceremony' in the Games' Village for the 31st Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

More than half of the Indian contingent attended one of the first and prominent ceremonies of the Games, which lasted about 45 minutes.

They were elegantly dressed in white India tracksuits and looked upbeat on the eve of the Games.

The show, comprising Brazilian rhythms, greeted the Indian delegation, alongside those from the Bahamas, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Norway.

The ceremony itself included raising each nation's flag and playing their national anthems.

Brazilian dancers

IMAGE: Performers at the Rio Olympic Village. Photograph: Twitter.

The show started with a tribal dance spectacle before moving on to an assortment of Brazilian rhythms, including forró, samba and bossa nova. 

Music by late Brazilian legends Raul Seixas and Tim Maia was also played alongside some latest hits.

Indian Olympic Association President Narayanswami Ramachandran and Chef de Mission of the contingent Rakesh Gupta presented the Mayor of the Village, ex-player basketball player and two-time Olympic medallist Janeth Arcain, two gifts.

One was a pair of silver elephants and the other a gold plated peacock with the IOA logo embossed at the bottom of the frame.

After the music and dance, Arcain spoke about the importance of the Games for humanity and welcomed the teams to Rio.

However, the majority of the Indian contingent had already been residing at the Village.

Some of those not present were away at training venues. Those present included shooters Jitu Rai, Prakash Nanjappa, Gurpreet Singh, Chain Singh; athletes Khushbir Kaur, Manpreet Kaur, the women's hockey team; swimmers Sajan Prakash and Shivani Katariya, and some of the coaches and officials.

Also present were officials from the Indian Embassy in Brazil.

Sania Mirza

IMAGE: Sania Mirza, centre, with Rohan Bopanna at the training centre. Photograph: Twitter.

India is fielding its largest contingent, around 120 athletes in 15 disciplines.

At the last Games in London, India won six medals, including two silver and four bronze.

The Olympic Village was officially opened more than a week ago on July 24. It has 31 buildingsand 3,604 apartments. India is housed in building No. 31.

The village will host more than 17,000 athletes and officials during peak time. It is built in the neighbourhood of Recreio dos Bandeirantes in the west of Rio and is close to Barra Olympic Park, the main venue cluster.

Team Canada

IMAGE: Athletes from Canada pose for a selfie during a programme atthe Games Village. Photograph: Twitter.

The village was opened last week by Rio mayor Eduardo Paes, Rio 2016 president Carlos Arthur Nuzman and Arcain.

The complex also features leisure areas, cycle-paths, a huge gym and giant dinning hall with an area of 27,000 square metres and the capacity to cater for 5,000 at the same time, serving up to 60,000 meals per day.

The guests will be offered a wide range of local Brazilian and international cuisine, including Indian and Asian.

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