By Karolos Grohmann
ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (Reuters) - The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics countdown got under way on Thursday with the lighting of the torch at the site of the ancient Olympics, with organizers hoping it will shift attention away from Brazil's political and financial turmoil.
On a glorious spring day with the sun burning hot above the ancient stadium in Olympia, an actress playing a high priestess lit a torch from the rays of the sun, using a parabolic mirror, to kick off a domestic relay before the official handover to Rio organizers on May 27.
The Rio Games run from Aug. 5-21.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Additional reporting by Karolina Tagaris)