This combo of two photographs shows inventor and aeronaut Alberto Santos Dumont as he demonstrates his aircraft. The top picture shows the aircraft called "La Demoiselle" in flight, and the bottom picture shows a lighter-than-air vehicle, the dirigible N#9, circa early 1900s, flying over Paris, France. (AP Photo)
Brazil has lots of national pride in the inventions of Alberto Santos Dumont, who many in the country believe is the real inventor of the airplane.
Rio Olympics organizers wasted no time in the closing ceremony Sunday night to draw attention to his legacy.
The ceremony opened with original footage of Dumont. Brazilians also believe he is the first to ever wear a wristwatch, an invention made by a friend so he could see the time in flight. The ceremony displayed images of Santos Dumont looking at his watch, indicating it was time to begin the show.
The opening ceremony also devoted an entire segment to Santos Dumont's contributions.
Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first to take flight in an airplane in 1903, but don’t tell that to people in Brazil. They believe Santos Dumont should get credit instead.
Santos Dumont made his first airplane flight three years after the Wright Brothers in 1906, but Brazilians believe his was more significant because the aircraft took off on its own. The Wright brothers’ early flights were aided by catapults and a track that helped get the plane aloft.
In this photo, Orville and Wilbur Wright test their airplane on a beach. The Wright brothers have long been credited as the first to achieve powered flight. (AP Photo/File)
Santos Dumont killed himself at the age of 59 after battling with multiple sclerosis and depression. He deplored the idea that airplanes and the invention he contributed to were used in warfare and killing. An airport in Rio De Janeiro still bears his name.