IOC President officially invites world’s athletes to next year’s Games at ceremony to celebrate one year to opening ceremony
Bach, who arrived in Rio on Tuesday when he played beach football in Barra, officially invited the world’s athletes to take part in the first Olympic Games to be staged in South America. He then symbolically handed invitations to the representatives of the National Olympic Committees of Greece, Russia, the Republic of Korea, Japan, China, and Brazil – the country where the Olympic Games originated, the country of the previous host city, and the countries of the next Games host cities.
In the audience were Olympic athletes from various generations. On the stage was Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, along with Minister of Sport George Hilton, Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, and Nawal El Moutawakel, Chair of the IOC Coordiantion Commission for Rio 2016, and Carlos Nuzman, the Rio 2016 President .
The event was official, but Brazilian creativity ensured procedings were lively. “Instead of a stopwatch that counts backwards, we decided on one that goes forwards,” said Carla Camurati, director of the Rio 2016 culture programme. Singers Diogo Nogueira and Roberta Sá opened the concert called Sons do Rio (Sounds of Rio), while the big screen showed images from old Rio. “At this party, people began to feel what the Olympics in Brazil will be like,” said Nogueira.