The opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 5, 2016. Queen Mathilde of Belgium and Prince Philippe of Belgium were in attendance. Belgium was the 23rd country to enter the spectacular scene at Maracana Stadium. Sprinter Olivia Borlée, a silver medalist from the women’s sprint relay team eight years ago, had the honor of carrying the Belgian flag.
Only nine Belgian athletes took part in the opening ceremonies as many of the athletes starting early in Rio preferred to go to bed on time in order to be in top shape for their competitions.
According to the official Team Belgian Olympic website, Belgium has sent 110 athletes in 24 different sports to take part in the Rio 2016 Summer Games, nine less than the 119 athletes competing in London 2012. Although in London 2012, Belgium competed in only 16 different sports. Since the nation’s official debut in 1900, Belgian athletes have appeared in every edition of the Summer Olympic Games, with the exception of the sparsely attended 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, United States.
Early hopes predicted Belgium winning at least three medals or at most six medals in Rio. At London 2012, Belgian athletes took home three medals: 1 silver: Lionel Cox (rifle shooting) and 2 bronze: Evi Van Acker (Laser sailing) and Charlene Van Snick (judoka). Both Van Acker and Van Snick are returning to the Rio 2016 Games. There were no gold medals for Belgium four years ago. See the Sports News section for early results.