Rio Games torch to be lit in Olympia on April 21, 2106

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 31, 2015 11:58 PM

By Karolos Grohmann

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The Rio de Janeiro Olympics torch will be lit in Greece's ancient Olympia on April 21 next year before leaving for the South American country 12 days later, organizers said on Saturday.

The torch will arrive in Brazil on May 3 to start its 100-day relay across the country, Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada told the International Olympic Committee during a presentation of the Games progress.

Rio organizers earlier this month unveiled the torch which will be carried by 12,000 torchbearers past 500 cities and villages as the city prepares to become the first South American city to host the summer Olympics.

The torch for both summer and winter Olympics is traditionally lit using a parabolic mirror and the sun's rays at a ceremony in Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympics, with the first torchbearer starting their run from the stadium.

The torch lighting and relay did not exist at the ancient Olympics but were introduced by the Nazi organizers of the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)