We’re just hours away from kicking off the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. The opening ceremony, which airs Friday at 7:30 p.m. EDT, will include a barrage of athletes both past and present —but one big name in the world of sports will be sitting out this year’s festivities.
According to AP Sports, Pele won’t be at the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony. In a tweet the publication revealed that health issues will keep the legendary soccer player from attending the event. It was not revealed what his health issues are.
On Tuesday Reuters revealed that Pele was asked to be a part of the ceremony. The publication reported that he was approached about lighting the Olympic torch, but did not accept. He released a statement regarding the offer, claiming that he would “love to do it,” but was not going to be “physically able to attend the opening of the Olympics.
“As a Brazilian I’d love to do it,” he told Globo TV.
As was previously reported, NBC will be screening the opening ceremony on a one hour delay. While the event is set to kick off at 7 p.m. EDT, viewers will have to wait until 8 p.m. EDT to tune in from their TV sets. The network will being doing the same with their live stream. West coast viewers will have to wait four hours after the actual ceremony to view it. This decision has been met with much controversy, but it’s not the first time they’ve taken such action.
In 2012, during the London Olympics, NBC delayed the event in an effort to air it during primetime. The move attracted a record number of viewers, with 41 million people tuning in to watch the ceremony despite the delay.
NBC released a statement about the decision to delay the broadcast. Bob Costas, who will be presenting NBC’s coverage, told The Hollywood Reporter he finds complaints about the network’s schedule “silly.” He went on to say that if it was an actual portion of the games being delayed he would understand. Costas revealed another major reason for the delay as well — holding off on airing the ceremony allows NBC to make edits to the footage before American viewers see it.
“The complaints about the opening ceremony strike me as silly,” he said. “The opening ceremony is just that, a ceremony. A performance. It is not a competition. It makes perfect sense to delay it, and only by an hour on the East Coast, so that any minor tweaks — none of which would remove anything essential — can be made. As for the West Coast, who in their right mind wants this on in the afternoon instead of in primetime?”
While NBC has made the decision to shift the scheduling of the 2016 Olympics opening ceremony to avoid scheduling conflicts and attract viewers, the rest of the games will be shown live. NBC, USA, Bravo and more will be scrapping their regularly scheduled programming to air Olympic events. To find out what this means for shows like “Days of Our Lives,” “American Ninja Warrior,” and several of the “Real Housewives” shows click HERE.