Rio 2016: Olympic Torch Relay heads for heart of Brazil
After an inspiring and emotional first day in Brazil’s capital Brasília, the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay ventured into the state of Goiás, right in the heart of Brazil, and famous for its waterfalls, thermal pools, agriculture, and not least an all-consuming passion for sport.
The first port of call for the Olympic flame was Corumbá, a small city with a population of just over 10.000 located 113km from the state capital of Goiânia.
The honour of being the first torchbearer in Goiás went 60-year old farmer José Quirino Goveia Morais, who took receipt of the Olympic flame by the magnificent and imposing Salto Waterfalls in Corumbá, one, one of the natural gems of Goiás state.
“It’s a privilege to be the first Torchbearer in Goiás. I’ve been the King of Carnival in Corumbá for over 30 years, something that I do for pleasure. So being invited to carry the flame made me very happy and proud today,” he said.
After Corumbá, the Torch Relay travelled to Pirenópolis, home to one of Brazil’s most famous musical duos Zezé de Camargo and Luciano, both of whom did a stint as Torchbearers on day two of the relay. Despite being used to immense crowds of fans and packed stadiums, Luciano was still overwhelmed by the magnitude of the occasion.
It’s pure joy and happiness. We love our city a lot, and love to talk about Pirenópolis at any opportunity we get, so this moment is such an honour for us. It’s a historical moment for our country, and it’s wonderful to be chosen to carry the torch through our citysaid the singer.
Similar emotions were expressed by Hiram Alcantara, a former star of Brazil’s deaf futsal team and a two-time world champion, when the relay arrived in his home town of Anápolis.
“Carrying the torch in our country makes me feel elated,” he enthused. “Ever since I was a little boy I dreamed about being part of this moment. It is something I will carry with me forever.”
During the relay in Goiás state, the flame will pass through 15 cities and will be carried by a total of 448 people, each of whom will carry it over a distance of 200m.
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.