The Olympic flame that will burn in Rio in August for the first Games in South America was handed over to Brazil yesterday in the marble stadium that hosted the first modern Games in 1896.
After a six-day trek across Greece, the flame that was lit last Thursday by the sun’s rays at the birthplace of the Games in Ancient Olympia was presented to the Brazilian organisers.
From its overnight perch at the Acropolis museum, it travelled through the streets of Athens before being carried into the stadium - which was built in 330 BC - by Greek high jump Olympic medallist Niki Bakoyianni.
After a relay in the stadium, Greek rowing champion Katerina Nikolairou lit the golden cauldron, surrounded by priestesses in long pleated dresses, and the crowd erupted into cheers.
“We ... promise (to) deliver great Games,” Rio Games chief Carlos Nuzman said at the handover ceremony.
The Qatar Olympic Committee partnered with the Brazilian embassy in Qatar to mark 100 days to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by lighting up The Torch Doha.
Buildings around the world were illuminated yesterday to mark this important milestone, including the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece, the Priamide de Mayo in Argentina and the London Eye, in the UK.
Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympics from August 5 to August 21 but preparations have been plagued by the country’s worst recession in decades and attentions distracted by political turmoil.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is facing impeachment for alleged budget fraud and federal prosecutors are investigating Olympic projects for suspected corruption.
Ticket sales have lagged compared to previous Games, with just 62% sold so far, according to the Rio 2016 organising committee.
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