RIO DE JANEIRO—Gripping the brightly colored character neck and displaying him as an offering to ensure a successful Games, Olympics head priestess Esmeralda Caixeta sanctified the opening ceremony by slitting the throat of Rio mascot Vinicius from ear to ear, sources confirmed Friday. “Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like the priestess has entered the stadium alongside a group of cloaked, chanting monks to bless the Rio Games with a traditional blood sacrifice,” NBC commentator Bob Costas said as the hooded priestess jerked the mascot’s smiling, furry head back and slowly drew a dagger across his exposed throat, using an ornamental bowl to collect the spraying blood. “Now she’s using her bare hands to anoint the torchbearer’s face with the fallen mascot’s blood before the cauldron is lit, which is an Olympic tradition dating back to the eighth century B.C. Of course, the priestess’s age is unknown, but she is said to have performed this sacrament for every opening ceremony since the original festivals in Olympia. Folks, this is a real treat.” The high priestess then reportedly beheaded Vinicius, kicked his still-twitching body off the stage, and announced, in a booming voice, “I declare open the Games of Rio celebrating the 31st Olympiad of the modern era,” as the mascot’s limp body tumbled down the stadium steps.