The Rio 2016 Olympics are still a few months away but the countdown is very much on. Last week a torch was lit in Olympia, where the games were originated, and already the flame has travelled from Greece across the Atlantic to Brazil – a journey of over 6000 miles.
The flame was flown inside a tiny lantern by plane from the Swiss city of Geneva to Brasilia. The first torchbearer is the volleyball gold medallist, Fabiana Claudino. She is one of over a thousand to carry the torch on a journey designed to get the nation behind the Games.
Before arriving in August at the main Olympic arena for the opening of the Games, it will be carried across the host country – lots of you might remember the torch relay ahead of the London Olympics, in 2012.
The torch will pass through more than 300 towns and cities before arriving at the Maracana Stadium in Rio on 5 August.
In a ceremony watched by a huge global audience, the torch will be used to ignite the Olympic flame once again. (The same ceremony takes place several months ahead of every summer, winter and the Paralympic games.) The Olympic flame is always lit by an actress playing the part of a priestess in a special ceremony based around the power of the sun’s rays.
The torch represents some of the most important achievements in history with Ancient Greece’s most valuable elements highlighted: peace, unity and friendship.
Luke and Alfie, Year 5