Olympic Torch Reaches Christ the Redeemer

The Latest on the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro (all times local):

8:20 a.m.

The Olympic flame has hit Rio’s most famous landmark, the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Brazil Olympian Isabel Barroso Salgado was emotional as she stood beneath the 125-foot statue (38 meters, 30 centimeters), holding the torch straight above her head with both arms outstretched.

Olympic-Torch-Reaches-Christ-the-Redeemer
Olympic Torch Reaches Christ the Redeemer (Getty Images)

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The volleyball medalist from Brazil then received a blessing as cameras snapped all around.

The iconic wonder is one of many stops for the flame as it travels around Rio de Janeiro at the end of a long relay that began in Greece. Torch runners carried the flame through Copacabana early Friday.

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The flame will be used to light the Olympic cauldron Friday night at the opening ceremony at Maracana Stadium.

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6:25 a.m.

As the Olympic torch makes its way through Rio de Janeiro, the big question is: Will Pele show up?

The former soccer star — Brazil’s most famous athlete — said this week he was invited to take part in the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but business deals were stopping him from doing it.

Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Friday night, which culminates in the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.

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American sculptor Anthony Howe told The Associated Press that his cauldron design was inspired by life in the tropics. There will be two cauldrons in Rio, one at the Maracana soccer stadium that is hosting the opening ceremony and another open to the public in downtown Rio.

Howe says the cauldron in central Rio will be lit by a runner after the opening ceremony ends.

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6 a.m.

There’s going to be no shortage of samba, culture or diversity in the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics as Brazil proudly showcases its traditions and environmental wonders.

Millions of television viewers from around the world are expected to watch the three-hour ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on Friday night, which comes as the country is reeling from political and economic turmoil.

Organizers are making sure that global warming and the environment, especially the country’s magnificent Amazon rainforest, are important parts of the ceremony.

In all, 4,800 performers and volunteers will be involved in the show at Rio’s Maracana stadium. NBC will broadcast the opening ceremony on a one-hour tape delay because it wants the extravaganza to be shown completely in U.S. prime time.

Samba and pop music singers are expected to perform, including Grammy award winners Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen will also be on hand to promote her native Brazil.

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