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Fireworks on and off the pitch as the Rio Olympics officially open

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By Euronews  with Reuters, L'Equipe
Fireworks on and off the pitch as the Rio Olympics officially open

After months of bad publicity, the Rio Olympics have officially opened.

The Maracaña stadium played host to a spectacular display of samba, breakdancing and catwalk modelling, to name a few things.

After a shaky start which involved officials having to use bolt cutters to get into the venue when the keys to the gate were lost, all appeared to run smoothly inside.

But fireworks of a different kind erupted outside shortly before the opening ceremony began.

Protesters rallied near the stadium, reportedly angry about corruption and overspending on the tournament as Brazil suffers its worst economic downturn in decades.

Earlier in the day, on the world-famous Copacabana beach, supporters of recently-ousted President Dilma Rousseff demonstrated about the country’s deep political crisis denounced her replacement, Michel Temer. The opening ceremony came just a day after a special senate committee voted to take Rousseff’s ongoing trial to the full chamber. The move is likely to lead to her impeachment.

Eighty-eight thousand police and troops have been deployed in Brazil to protect locals and as many as half a million tourists.