A show full of Brazilian rhythms greeted the delegations from Malawi, the Maldives and Botswana at their welcoming ceremony at the Rio 2016 Olympic Village on Friday.
The three countries were the first to participate in the events that include raising each nation’s flag and playing their national anthems.
All countries will take part in the tradition before the start of the Rio 2016 Games.
The show started with a tribal dance spectacle before moving on to a diverse assortment of Brazilian rhythms, including forró, samba and bossa nova.
Music by late Brazilian legends Raul Seixas and Tim Maia was played alongside some of the latest carioca funk hits.
Following the music, the mayor of the Olympic Village, ex-player basketball player and two-time Olympic medalist, Janeth Arcain, gave a speech about the importance of the Games for humanity.
“Olympic sport signifies a better world, of peace and unity between peoples,” she said.
“It’s an enormous pleasure to see this Olympic flag flying in Rio.”
The ceremony finished with athletes circling around the dancers and trying their hand at some samba and funk dance moves.
Malawian swimmer, Brave Lifa, arrived four days ago and already feels at home.
“I always dreamed of coming to Brazil. There is an incredible diversity of music and races that we don’t have in Malawi,” he says.
Despite the intense routine, training twice a day, he confirms that he won’t be going home without having first paid a visit to Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain.
“If it already looks incredible in photos, imagine in real life,” he says.
“The Games are something historical. In my country, I’m the only sportsman who qualified so they’re all treating me like a hero. It’s very emotional,” he added.
Malawi team also comprises athletes such as Ammara Pinto (swimmer), Tereza Master and Kefas Kasiten (runners).
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