At the Rio 2016 Olympics opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro at the Marcana Stadium, India were led by Abhinav Bindra and a strong 100-plus contingent. Some members had opted to sit out due to a busy day one schedule. The Indian contingent entered the arena at approximately 6.15 AM IST based on the alphabetical order in Portuguese – host nation Brazil’s official language.
On the other hand, normally the much looked forward to contingent of the United States entered much before due to their name of ‘Estados Unidos’ in Portuguese. Swimmer Michael Phelps had the honour of carrying the flag for a 554-member contingent.
Speaking of Phelps, the commentator made an interesting (statistically speaking) yet stinging comment that elicited mixed reactions. “Michael Phelps, 18 gold metals out of 22. He’s got more Olympic golds than countries like India, Nigeria, Jamaica,” left some marveling Phelps’ achievements with the 31-year-old likely to add to the tally in Rio.
Thank you commentators for pointing out Phelps has more golds than India. You just ruined the day for one-sixth of Earth. #OpeningCeremony
— Samrat Chowdhery (@samrat) 6 August 2016
India Population: 1.25 billion
USA Population: 320 million
Total all time gold medals (including the Winter Olympics):
— GeezieJuiceman (@GeezieJuiceman) 6 August 2016
This wasn’t the only “odd” comment by the commentators during the broadcast with tiny Micronesia getting a strong introduction. “We are not going to overlook Micronesia just because the US is up next,” left even most Americans embarrassed.
Really Matt Lauer? That’s the nicest thing you can say about Micronesia? “We could skip them but we won’t.”
— Sarah L. Blair (@SarahLBlair) 6 August 2016
Question remains, can India overtake Phelps in Brazil?