At the Opening Ceremony, the head of state of the host country, or his or her designee, declares open each Olympic Games. The following political figures have opened previous Olympic Games:

1896 Athens King George of Greece
1908 London King Edward VII of Great Britain
1912 Stockholm King Gustav V of Sweden
1920 Antwerp King Albert I of Belgium
1924 Paris President Gaston Doumergue
1928 Amsterdam Prince Hendrick of the Netherlands
1932 Los Angeles Vice President Charles Curtis
1936 Berlin Adolf Hitler
1948 London King George VI of Great Britain
1952 Helsinki President Juho Kusti Paasikivi
1956 Stockholm King Gustav VI of Sweden *
1956 Melbourne Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
1960 Rome President Giovanni Gronchi

1964 Tokyo Emperor Hirohito
1968 Mexico City President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz
1972 Munich President Gustav Heinemann
1976 Montreal Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain
1980 Moscow President Leonid Brezhnev
1984 Los Angeles President Ronald Reagan
1988 Seoul President Roh Tae-Woo
1992 Barcelona King Juan Carlos I of Spain
1996 Atlanta President Bill Clinton
2000 Sydney Sir William Deane, Governor General of Australia (for Queen Elizabeth II)
2004 Athens President Constantine Stephanopoulos
2008 Beijing President Hu Jintao
2012 London Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain
2016 Rio Interim President Michel Temer *

* King Gustav was the head of state at the equestrian competition, held earlier in the year in Stockholm because of
Australian livestock quarantine regulations.

* Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended in May 2016, stripped of her presidential duties as she faced an impeachment trial. As a result, Interim President Michel Temer opened the Rio Games.