From Hot Tongan Flag Bearer to Celebrated Ibtihaj Muhammad: The Viral Moments of Rio's Opening Ceremony

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Tonga flag bearer Pita Taufatofua

Viewers crushed on Tonga's Pita Taufatofua and Gisele Bundchen, and they applauded Michael Phelps and Team USA's diversity, highlighting the first Muslim-American to compete at the Olympics in a hijab.

According to Twitter, Tonga's flag bearer stole the show during the 2016 Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday night.

During the Parade of the Nations — which traditionally runs for a long portion of the show — Pita Taufatofua appeared, shirtless and oiled up, to keep viewers glued to the kickoff event, which ran for five hours on NBC.

But the flag bearer was far from the only viral moment to emerge from Rio de Janeiro.

Gisele Bundchen's Maracana Stadium catwalk, the Michael Phelps and Ibtihaj Muhammad-led Team USA entrance (and Phelps' fashion fail) and Brazil's claim that the Wright brothers were not, in fact, the ones to invent flight were a few of the topics steering the social media conversation as the Summer Games were about to get underway.

See the most viral moments from the opening ceremony — and the best reactions — below.

Twitter found itself in a frenzy over hot Tongan flag bearer Pita Taufatofua, the greasy Taekwondo athlete who led his non-shirtless teammates during the Parade of Nations:

Brazil's claim during the opening ceremony that aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont was the first to fly the airplane instead of the Wright brothers was immediately called out by Twitter's Team USA:

Ibtihaj Muhammad, the U.S. fencer who becomes the first American athlete to compete at the Olympic games in a hijab, and her front-row Team USA entrance was praised on Twitter:

For her last walk, celebrated Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen's took the longest catwalk of her career when she sashayed across the length of Macarana Stadium — around 500 feet — to the tune of "The Girl From Ipanema" by local artist Daniel Jobim:

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, was the celebrated flag bearer for Team USA. However, he and designer Ralph Lauren promoted a stunt ahead of the ceremony — his battery-powered blazer was supposed to light up his U.S. Olympic Team logo on the front and back — but the wearable tech didn't reflect on TV:

Pokemon Go, which added 15 new countries on Friday, also made an appearance in the stadium:

 

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