The party is on - but where are the spectators? Thousands of empty seats as Brazil welcomes the Olympics with samba, a supermodel and massive security
Brazilian police and soldiers have thrown a ring of steel around the Maracana Stadium for the start of the Games
Massive numbers of officers and soldiers are on the streets to prevent disorder or terrorism
The final day of preparations saw the Olympic Torch relay diverted by anti-government demonstrators
Fans say they are there for the sport and are relaxed about the massive security presence
Fears have also been voiced that Brazil’s interim president will be booed by the crowd at the ceremony
Brazil was on the verge of further major world embarrassment when its citizens, angered at economic strife, voted to stay away from its much lauded Olympics Opening ceremony.
The 80,000-seater stadium was less than two thirds full when the lights went down.
A Brazilian presenter told the audience: ‘We are 60,000 people soon to be joined by three billion’ on TV.
Twenty minutes before the world tuned in, many of the seats of the ‘sold out’ show remained empty.
Embarrassingly spectators were asked to make animal noises to create more noise and to use their phones to help illuminate the seating areas as part of the performance
The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro began slowly filling up ahead of this evenings opening ceremony
Brazil has struggled to sell seats for the prestigious opening ceremony with many left unfilled by the time the ceremony got underway