The most potent symbol of the Olympic games, the Olympic flame, has arrived in Rio de Janeiro.
CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs traces its eventful journey from Greece to Rio.
Olympic torch arrives in Rio after tempestuous journeyThe most potent symbol of the Olympic games, the Olympic flame, has arrived in Rio de Janeiro. CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs traces its eventful journey from Greece to Rio.
The journey began, where it always begins, in the serene, idyllic Greek sanctuary of Olympia.
It was brought to South America first class, on board a chartered jet.
One of the first Brazilians to receive it was the then-Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff — a reminder there’s nothing eternal about Brazilian politics. Rousseff has since been removed from office, facing impeachment.
But she set the torch on its way, in the safe hands of Brazil’s volleyball captain.
Then began another journey, across this vast, diverse country. Brazilians have mostly enthusiastically welcomed the torch — but not everywhere.
Some said Brazil, in recession, shouldn’t be hosting such an opulent event. Protesters’ target has been the flame itself, and it is believed to have gone out at least once.
But the torch received a welcome party in Rio — something the city knows a thing or two about.
There Rebecca Pantaney, a young badminton player, was looking forward to playing her part in the world’s longest relay race.
“I have no words,” Pantaney said. “I really can’t describe it. I am so nervous!”
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, who helped bring the games to this city, was the first to receive the torch.
The Olympic torch has finally made it to Rio, after a long, and eventful journey, and is now tantalizingly close to its destination.
Friday, it will light the Olympic cauldron, and the games will begin.