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2012-05-10Updated on May, 14th, 2012, 14:49
It took only ten minutes and three torch bearers for the newly-lit flame of London 2012 Olympic Games to be delivered to a Brazilian official. The President of the Rio 2016™ Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee and Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC), Carlos Arthur Nuzman, was the fourth person to carry the flame today 10 May, in the Greek city of Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games.
After a rain threat on the day before, sun rays lit up the flame at the ceremony which marks the commencement of the Olympic Torch Relay. After the flame was lit by priestess Ino Menegak using a parabolic mirror in front of the Temple of Hera at Olympia’s sanctuary, the torch was taken to the ancient Olympic Stadium.
At the Stadium, where the speeches of the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge; the President of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Committee, Sebastian Coe; and the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, which organises the ceremony, Spyros Capralos, were presented, the Torch Relay was initiated.
The first torch bearer was open water swimming world champion, Spyros Gianniotis. The athlete delivered the torch to 19-year old Greece’s British-born Alexander Loukos, who took part in the London presentation in 2005, when the city was selected to host the Games.
Also in the stadium’s surroundings, Nuzman received the torch and took the most remarkable 300-meter walk of his lifetime. “For me as a former Olympic athlete and sport leader, conducting the torch in the Games ancient city is the highest point in my career. I’d like to thank Capralos for the invitation, which allowed me this unforgettable feeling and huge inspiration for Rio 2016™. The President of BOC and 2016™ explained that “carrying the London torch has a very special meaning due to the work of organising the Games and the cooperation with the British organisation”; he competed in 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games with the Brazilian volleyball team.
The Olympic Torch will travel through Greece until May 17, when it will be delivered in Athens to the organisers of the London Games, for the relay which will cover the United Kingdom until the lighting of the flame at the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony on 27 July.
This was the third time Nuzman carried the Olympic Torch, and the first time a Brazilian official attended the Olympia ceremony. In 2004, when Rio de Janeiro was selected as one of the cities to stage the Olympic Torch World Relay for Athens Games, the President of Rio 2016™ was one of the torch carriers. After this, in 2008 he participated in Greece in the initial part of the world torch relay for the Beijing Games, carrying the torch in the city of Marathon.