They smiled, they waved, they danced, they took selfies and front and centre was Australian cycling legend Anna Meares.
Australia's Olympic team made a rousing entrance at the opening ceremony, with the beaming two-time gold medallist leading the way.
Dressed stylishly in pin-striped blazers, the contingent of 100 or so athletes and officials soaked in every moment in a slow lap around the Maracana stadium.
The majority of Australia's 421-strong team were back in the Olympic Village, resting ahead of early competition.
But that mattered little to those able to take part.
Meares said leading the Australian team was an amazing experience.
"Coming through the tunnel I could see the lights and the colour and the crowd and then the team did an `Aussie, Aussie, Aussie'," Meares told AAP.
"I just turned to Kitty (Chiller) and said thank you."
Australia's Olympic team tweeted it was the "ultimate honour (for the) ultimate champion".
While tennis star Daria Gavrilova described the march as the "best experience ever".
They were among an impressive group of Australian women who took part, including London 2012 silver medallist in canoe slalom, Jessica Fox and Beijing bronze medal diver Melissa Wu.
Among the Aussie men, basketballer Cameron Bairstow simply tweeted a picture with his arms spread wide and Rugby Sevens captain Ed Jenkins described it as an incredible experience.
"Memories for a lifetime," he said.
The march of athletes came mid-way through the spectacular ceremony driven by a pulsating Samba beat, that invited the world to join the party.
Low-tech in comparison to London and Beijing it no-less delighted the 50,000 strong crowd who swayed to its infectious vibe.
A similar beat also backed another rowdy group of Australian athletes who had their own unofficial march earlier on Friday, taking to Ipanema Beach in their official uniforms where they attracted a crowd of appreciate locals.
"We've just got a 15-minute window to come out and wear the uniform on opening ceremony night," road cyclist Rachel Neylan said.
"Rio are really putting on a show so far."
Rower Will Lockwood said it was "fantastic" to get out and see some of the city.
"It's such a good vibe, just Rio turning it on along the beach, it's been awesome," he said.