On the day that Rio de Janeiro officially marked one year to go until the 2016 Olympic Games, the Rio 2016 organising committee announced the dates for the start of the Olympic Torch Relay next year.
The torch will be lit in the Greek city of Olympia, the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games, on 21 April 2016 before being handed over to Rio 2016 organisers on 27 April after a tour around Greece. On 3 May, the Olympic Torch Relay – Presented by Coca-Cola, Nissan, and Bradesco – will officially start in the capital city of Brazil, Brasilia, embarking on a 95-day tour around the country.
The Olympic flame will visit 83 cities, including the 26 state capitals, and will pass through around 500 towns, with 300 hosting the relay and another 200 watching the convoy go by. The relay will reach an estimated 90 per cent of Brazil’s population and will cover 20,000km of the country by road and 16,000km by air over the north and mid-west.
Approximately 12,000 torch-bearers will carry the torch for roughly 200 metres each, before passing the Olympic flame on to the next torchbearer. The relay will conclude on 5 August when the last torch-bearer will light the Olympic cauldron during the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony at the Maracanã Stadium.
As part of the Rio 2016 one-year-to-go celebrations, organisers took the Olympic torch to the city centre of Largo da Carioca to give locals a sneak preview of what’s to come next May during the relay.
For more information, check out www.rio2016.com/tochaolimpica/en
The Olympic Flame
The Olympic flame is lit by the sun’s rays reflected in a parabolic mirror, with a priestess from the Temple of Hera passing on the torch to the first relay runner in Athens’ ancient stadium – the home of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.