Rio Games count down starts with Olympia torch lighting


Image: Greek actress Katerina Lehou, playing the role of High Priestess, lights a torch from the sun’s rays reflected in a parabolic mirror during the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the site of ancient Olympia in Greece, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

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 organisers 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 organisers on May 27.

The Rio Games run from Aug. 5-21.


(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Additional reporting by Karolina Tagaris)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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