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Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay - Day 73 Rio 2016 / André Luiz Mello
18 Jul 2016
RIO 2016 , Olympic Torch Relay , IOC News

Olympic Torch Relay says goodbye to the south

The Olympic Torch Relay set the tone for Rio 2016 as it passed through the state of Paraná, carried by some of Brazil’s record-breaking athletes. Mauro Rodrigues, the first Brazilian to win a stage in the Tour de France, and Moisés Waldemar Niclevicz, the first to scale Everest and K2, were among the Torchbearers on 14 July.

Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay - Day 73 Rio 2016 / André Luiz Mello

Meanwhile, American swimmer Summer Sanders, who won four medals at Barcelona 1992, also took part in the convoy through state capital Curitiba and paid tribute to the Brazilian public.

“To carry the torch for the second time is like winning an Olympic medal,” she said. “I’m impressed with the warmth of the Brazilian people.”

From Curitiba, the flame visited four more cities on Friday as it travelled towards São Paulo state.

There was a warm welcome in Fazenda Rio Grande where the flame was greeted with a fanfare and the national anthem as well as a performance by local group The Toch’s Band.

Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay - Day 74 Rio 2016 / André Luiz Mello

In Araucária, a crowd of 30,000 turned out for the relay where long distance swimmer Carla Fontana made the most of her 200m stretch.

“I have more than 20 years in sports and even with so many competitions, I don’t remember having felt something as strong as I felt today,” she said.

On 16 July, the flame visited Castro, its last stop in Paraná where there was a mini-Olympics for schoolchildren aged four and five, before arriving in São Paulo state.

Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay - Day 75 Rio 2016 / André Luiz Mello

Clodoaldo Oleiro, 83, roused onlookers in the town of Itararé with his enthusiasm while carrying the torch.

The former athlete, who was a runner, boxer and footballer, said: “I was really sporty in my youth, and this is why I’m still healthy aged 83, and I still go about things without any help.

“This torch is a huge honour, I can’t put into words what it means to me.”

On Sunday, the relay travelled 390km through the São Paulo countryside, accompanied by music, dance and sports demonstrations.

Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay - Day 76 Rio 2016 / André Mourão

Fabiana dos Santos, the first Brazilian to pilot a bobsled, and two times Olympic judoka, Mario Sabino Junior, were among the Torchbearers.

The relay finished the weekend in Bauru where the whole city had the chance to take part in a 6.4km run before a celebration ceremony in Vitoria Regia park.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay has three Presenting Partners: Worldwide TOP Partner Coca-Cola, which continues its longstanding support for Olympic torch relays, and local Partners Bradesco and Nissan. For further information, please visit the Rio 2016 website.

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