It was a magical night of culture, dance and happiness – but TV viewers saw just a fraction of the 2016 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Inside the Maracanã arena, more than 60,000 people gathered to watch an elaborate show of dance, music and unity.
From the fun moments – like when Gisele Bündchen
that arena – to the more serious moments about global warming, here are some of the things that viewers at home might have missed.
The Athletes Were All About Selfies
While many athletes stayed with their teams on the arena floor during their entrances, dozens of them wandered around the perimeter, taking selfies with athletes from other teams.
shirtless Tonga flag bearer
Pita Taufatofua was a huge draw for other Olympians. At one point, there was a line of female athletes waiting to take pictures with him. (He happily obliged.)
We haven’t seen the photos yet, but we’re sure they’re all over Instagram.
Paul Gilham / Getty
Other athletes watched in wonder as the proceedings unfolded, and took pictures of the fireworks and the torch lighting.
The Novelty Wore Off for a Few Athletes
As the parade of nations continued, some of the athletes seemed to lose interest in their surroundings. (As the processional continued, some of them spent the entire time texting, which they’re totally going to regret doing someday.)
Other athletes sat on the floor and talked amongst themselves.
But the majority of the athletes were engaged in the once-in-a-lifetime experience and cheered each country as they arrived. The biggest cheers for the night – other than the cheers for Brazil’s team – were for the refugees.
Security Was Tight
It was no small task to get into the Maracanã arena in downtown Rio. Guests went through metal detectors and patdowns, under the watchful eyes of hundreds of armed police officers. “We want everyone to be safe,” an officer told PEOPLE. “To make sure that nothing happens to hurt anyone.”
Throughout the 4-hour ceremony, officers and K-9 units circulated throughout the arena.
The Audience Was Prepped
Before the ceremony began, Brazilian actress Regina Cas´ warmed up the crowd, explaining that there would be times for the 60,000-member audience to hold up their cell phones to represent stars in the sky. She also prepped the crowd to make jungle noises during part of the show.
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Huge TV screens prompted the crowd when to participate in the show.
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The Arena Was LOUD!
It doesn’t translate on television, but the Maracanã arena was deafening during certain parts of the ceremony – both from the fireworks and from the crowd’s screams.
The crowd included hundreds of young Brazilians who were working the event in yellow and green shirts. Fueled by national pride, they cheered for nearly four hours straight. During the finale, several of the twenty-something girls held each other and wept.
“It was beautiful,” one of them said to PEOPLE after the show. “It just touched my heart for Brazil.”
To learn more about all Olympic hopefuls, visit teamusa.org. The Rio Olympics begin Friday on NBC.