2016 Olympic Games – level 3
A message of hope in troubled times. Today the Olympic torch began its journey from the site of the ancient games to Rio de Janeiro. As the sun burnt down over Olympia, an actress playing a high priestess used the sun's rays and a parabolic mirror to light the torch. She also offered a mock prayer to Apollo, the old Greek God of light and music.
"… champion in artistic gymnastics."
While holding an olive branch, she then lit the relay torch held by a Brazilian artistic gymnast. It'll now begin a six-day journey around Greece before heading to Brazil on May 3rd. There it will travel around 329 cities before ending at the opening of the Olympics in Rio on 5th August.
"These Olympic Games will be a message of hope in troubled times. And the flame will carry this message into all corners of Brazil and indeed all the world."
It comes as Brazil faces difficult times as their President Dilma Rousseff faces impeachment. The crisis has paralysed the country's ability to revive its economy from recession. Added to that, preparations for the Games have been plagued with problems and a shortage of cash. Despite that, Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee President, had some positive words for the country:
"The flame is an ancient symbol of peace and harmony, a symbol of the power of humanity to come together despite our differences."
This is the 80th anniversary of the torch relay. The first one took place ahead of the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin.
Difficult words: torch (a thin tube that can carry fire, priestess (a woman who serves a god or gods), ray (a line of light), parabolic (arced), mock (not real), relay torch (a torch which people take turns carrying), impeachment (a charge of crime against the state), shortage (not enough of something).
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