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Rio Olympics 2016: Games countdown starts with Olympia torch lighting

The journey to Rio 2016 began earlier today.

President of the Organising Committee for Rio 2016, Carlos Nuzman, attends the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the site of ancient Olympia, Greece, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis
President of the Organising Committee for Rio 2016, Carlos Nuzman, attends the Olympic flame lighting ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the site of ancient Olympia, Greece

The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics countdown got under way on Thursday with the lighting of the torch at the site of the ancient Olympics, with organisers hoping it will shift attention away from Brazil's political and financial turmoil.

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On a glorious spring day with the sun burning hot above the ancient stadium in Olympia, an actress playing a high priestess lit a torch from the rays of the sun, using a parabolic mirror, to kick off a domestic relay before the official handover to Rio organisers on May 27.

The Rio Games run from Aug. 5-21.

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