The Olympic Torch Is Officially Headed To Rio
The eternal flame will travel by air without ever being extinguished.
A LATAM flight took off from Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão airport on May 1st bound for Geneva, Switzerland to pick up some very precious cargo—the Olympic Flame.
The flame—which never actually goes out—was transported in the plane’s passenger cabin, which is lined in non-flammable fabric. The flame burned in four closed lamps fueled by kerosene, which is a clear violation of plane’s no smoking policy (exceptions are made for Olympic festivities).
Once the eternal flame was secured on board, the specially-decorated plane—dressed in Olympic finery as homage to its important cargo—left Geneva for Brasília. The flame was accompanied by 100 passengers, including members of the Rio 2016 Olympics Organizing Committee, LATAM executives, and athletes. When the plane hit Brazil airspace, two fighter jets from the Brazilian Air Force escorted the Boeing 767 on its flight, to help mark the arrival of the Olympic flame in the host nation.
In Brasília, the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch was lit from the flame. It’s first stop was the Planalto Palace where Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, handed the first lit torch to Fabiana Claudino, captain of the Brazilian women’s volleyball team. “This is a historical moment; I’m very proud to be the first person to carry the torch on Brazilian soil,” the two-time Olympic champion told reporters.
The torch then set out on a relay that will take it to 300 cities across Brazil. The torch will mostly travel on foot, but due to Brazil’s massive scale, LATAM, the official airline of the Games, will carry the torch to 13 cities where relay runners will help the flame continue its journey across the country.