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The Olympic Torch Relay #Rio2016

olympic torch exchange
olympic torch exchange

The Olympic Torch has finally arrived in Brazil and has started its relay route which will end in Rio de Janeiro on 5th August when the Games commence.

Some 12,000 relay runners – each covering a distance of around 200 metres – will carry the Rio 2016 torch across Brazil. An Olympic symbol that has represented peace, unity, friendship and much more besides for the last 80 years, the torch boasts a very special design for this year’s relay.

Weighing 1-1.5kg and standing 69cm high when fully extended, the Rio 2016 torch is fashioned from recycled aluminium and resin, and boasts a satin finish.

When lit, the torch opens out to reveal five coloured segments, each of which represent a distinctive feature of a country that is diverse, vibrant and teeming with nature, and which occupies an area of 8,514,876 square kilometres – virtually half of South America – from the equator to the Tropic of Capricorn and from the Atlantic Ocean to the Amazonian rainforest.

Golden in hue, the upper section of the torch represents the sun that shines the whole year round on a country that has no winter, only a rainy season. The Rio 2016 logo and the five Olympic rings sit proudly over the coloured sections. Picked out in a striking green, the first section depicts the lush vegetation of the mountains that surround Rio.

The next two segments are blue in colour and form waves as they open, mirroring the sea that forms such an integral part of the Rio landscape.

The final segments represent the ground, and in particular the mosaic promenade that runs for several kilometres alongside the world-famous Copacabana beach and whose beguiling dark and light patterns prove an irresistible draw for visitors to the city.

The Rio 2016 torch also expresses the Olympic spirit, both through its triangular shape, which reflects its three values (excellence, friendship and respect), and its extending sections, which are inspired by the movements made by athletes.

As well as transmitting an infectious energy whenever two torches “kiss”, it evokes nature at its most vibrant by revealing the shapes that Rio’s natural surroundings take and the colours of Brazil, while also encapsulating harmony in diversity, with its various components coming together as one.

Nearly 90 percent of Brazil’s inhabitants will have the chance to admire and celebrate the torch on its epic journey through 329 cities, towns and villages across the country, with its final destination being the Olympic Stadium in Rio, where the Opening Ceremony is set to take place on 5 August.

 

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The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch is Lit

At first glance it’s a ceremony which would look at home in Dorne or Mereen — but this is no magic spell conjured by the Lord of Light in the fantasy television series Game of Thrones.

This tale belongs to another legend — to Prometheus, the Titan, who stole fire from the mighty Zeus and passed it on as a gift to the human race.
The adventure of Prometheus would inspire one of the most iconic fires in the world — the Olympic flame.
Today, Thursday 21st April, the torch for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro will be lit using the rays of the sun and a concave mirror in Ancient Olympia — the birthplace of the Games.
The ceremony is led by the High Priestess, who prays to the ancient Gods, Apollo and Zeus, while lighting the torch.
When the High Priestess arrives into the stadium, she then lights the torch of the first runner to signal the start of the relay.
According to historic documents, the first ancient Games took place in 776 BC and continued for 12 centuries.
But it was not until 1936 that the modern Olympics began to use the Olympic flame which had been lit amidst the ruins of Olympia.
Eleftherios Petrounias, Greece’s very own gymnastics superstar, will take the flame from the hand of the High Priestess and begin the iconic relay which will end in Rio on August 5.
Petrounias, who won gold on the rings at the World and European Championships last year, said he was shocked to be chosen to receive the torch.
“I was driving when I heard,” he told the Games’ official website. “The Bluetooth was on so I could hear in my car. And as a result of being so happy and surprised, I almost crashed my car.”
The torch will be handed over to the organizers of the Rio games on April 27 after a tour around Greece.
From there on it will embark on a 95-day tour of Brazil, visiting 83 cities, 26 state capitals and 500 towns.
 
The torch relay is estimated to reach 90% of the population while covering around 20,000 kilometers of the country by road and 16,000km by air.
The relay, which will involve around 12,000 torchbearers, will end at Rio’s iconic Maracana Stadium on August 5 at the Games’ Opening Ceremony.
Petrounias, will pass the flame onto Giovane Gavio, a former Brazilian volleyball player, who won gold at Barcelona in 1992 and Athens 2004.
The Games themselves present Brazil with many challenges to deal with the environmental impact of the consumption of natural resources over the 45 days of the Games from the sheer volume of people arriving and travelling around the country to the disposal of the waste that they will inevitably create.  The Organising Committee has taken this on board and produced a sustainability brand – Embrace.  Read more here about the challenges and the solutions for The Games.
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