Olympics 2016: Flame Arrives in Brazil Ahead of Rio GamesMay 5, 2016 in 2016 Summer Olympics - Security Update
The Olympic flame has arrived in Brazil for the start of a torch relay that will culminate with the opening of the Olympic Games in Rio in August.
The flame was flown inside a small lantern on a special flight from the Swiss city of Geneva to Brasilia. President Dilma Rousseff lit the Olympic torch, which will be carried around Brazil by 12,000 runners. The act could be one of President Rousseff’s last public acts ahead of a possible impeachment trial. Next week, the Senate is expected to vote on whether proceedings against her should go ahead. If a simple majority votes in favour, then Ms Rousseff will be suspended from office for up to 180 days and Vice President Michel Temer will take over. Ms Rousseff has been accused of manipulating government accounts ahead of her re-election in 2014. She has denied the charges and has stated that the impeachment proceedings are a “coup d’état” designed to remove her Workers’ Party from office.
Aside from the ongoing political crisis, Brazil’s economy has also slumped, with sources reporting that generating public support for the Olympic Games will be one of the main challenges during the torch’s 95 day journey around the country. The torch will pass through more than 300 towns and cities from the Amazon to Brazil’s southern border. It will arrive at the Maracana Stadium in Rio on 5 August. Amongst the first torchbearers will be a Syrian refugee who now lives in Brazil.