Olympic torch makes last stops in Rio ahead of opening ceremony

The Olympic torch was making its last stops on Friday in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the Games' official launch in the evening, drawing welcoming onlookers but also protesters.

The flame reached the world-renowned Christ the Redeemer statue under bright blue skies, where it was held up by former volleyball Olympic athlete Isabel with tears in her eyes. The archbishop of Rio, Orani Tempesta, and mayor Eduardo Paes also attended the ceremony.

The torch later passed through the beach district of the city, which has declared Friday a public holiday to avoid traffic problems. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also carried the torch in the neighbourhood of Ipanema.

In the neighbourhood of Copacabana, meanwhile, a few hundred people protested loudly against interim President Michel Temer, whom they accuse of having toppled suspended president Dilma Rousseff. They argued that her impeachment proceeding is politically motivated.

"That undercuts our democracy, Dilma was legitimately elected," protester Patricia Satornino said.

Rousseff is accused of tampering with figures to disguise the size of Brazil's budget deficit during her 2014 re-election campaign. She has denied any wrongdoing.

Temer will declare the Rio Olympics officially open on Friday evening during ceremonies in the emblematic Maracana Stadium.

Who will be the last of the 12,494 torchbearers and the person to light the Olympic flame during the ceremony has as always remained secret.

The first Olympics in South America will last until August 21, with 306 gold medals to be handed out.

Last update: Fri, 05/08/2016 - 20:38
Author: 

More from Sport

Blatter says he has lost CAS appeal against football ban

Former FIFA president Joseph Blatter said Monday he has lost his appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)...

Scrappy first win gives Hamburg hope; Frankfurt miss chance

SV Hamburg secured a scrappy first win of the season 2-0 away to Darmstadt on Sunday to move off the bottom of the...

Liverpool lose unbeaten streak at Bournemouth; Man Utd held

Liverpool conceded three late goals as they slipped to a dramatic 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth on Sunday, their first...

Ramos earns Real Madrid a dramatic draw in El Clasico

Sergio Ramos earned Real Madrid a dramatic late draw in El Clasico by heading in a Luka Modric free-kick to hold...

Leaders Chelsea make statement with comeback win at Man City

Chelsea sent a strong statement to the rest of the Premier League on Saturday with a 3-1 comeback win at Manchester...