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Olympiс Flame has been lit!

Belarusian Olympic team draws attention during official opening ceremony of 31st Olympic Games, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio
Olympic fire is lit, shimmering new records for our athletes

Legendary Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro hosts official opening ceremony of 31st Olympic Games

The parade of national teams featured around 11,000 athletes, representing 206 countries and a special squad — a national team of refugees performing under the Olympic flag. Meanwhile, honorary guests included around 40 heads of states and governments.

Belarusian national Olympic team at Maracanã Stadium in Rio

The flag of the Belarusian national team was carried by world cycling champion Vasiy Kiriyenko, parading before a team which includes judo wrestler Darya Skrypnik, yachtswoman Tatiana Drozdovskaya, boxer Dmitry Asanov and the women’s national basketball squad. The Belarusian uniform, in grey and red, bearing Belarusian ornamental motifs, has received praise from USA Today Sport, which listed ours among the ‘top uniforms’ of the parade; 17 of the most stylish delegations have been published on the edition’s website in random order. According to USA Today Sport reporter Maggie Hendricks, our uniforms look like an ordinary business suit but, on closer inspection, the floral motifs are apparent.

Belarusian designers Ivan Aiplatov and Yulia Latushkina both created designs for the uniform, with Yulia’s chosen via a poll of athletes and coaches. Ms. Latushkina’s collection, entitled ‘Sporting Belarus: The Power of Victories’ uses a palette of red, grey and white, with national motifs and cornflower ornamentation. 

Belarusian national Olympic team at Games’ opening ceremony in Rio

The colours are associated with Belarus’ coat of arms and flag, and the motifs are drawn from traditional national patterns, interlaced with the cheerful and energetic rhythms of Rio. The uniform is made from contemporary materials, using the latest technologies, taking into account athletes’ needs, and Rio’s climate.

The first days of the Olympiad have already conjured so many emotions, from medal joy to the disappointment of defeat. Of course, life exists beyond the narrow frames of the sports track, but we eagerly await Belarus’ first gold medal in Rio.

By Alexey Grishin
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