Torch Reaches Brazilian Coast

(ATR) After spending over two weeks in Brazil's inland, the Olympic Torch Relay finally reached the coastline for the first time on May 17.

(ATR) Two weeks into its journey the Olympic Torch is travelling up the Espirito Santos coastline.

The flame spent 10 days in Minas Gerais before making its way back into Rio de Janeiro state as a quick stop before hitting Espirito Santo on May 16.

On May 14 the flame traveled to the largest city in Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte. The capital of the state is the sixth largest city in Brazil and is one of the host cities for the 2016 Olympic Football Tournament.

Before reaching Belo Horizonte the flame visited Betim and Contagem where 160 torchbearers carried the flame. After visiting Pampulha Museum of Art and other landmarks in Belo Horizonte, the flame was lit in a cauldron in the square outside the city’s train station.

After stopping in Sao Joao Del Rei, Tiradentes, Barbacena, and Juiz de Fora on May 15, the torch visited three states to get closer to the coastline.

On May 16 the flame visited the towns of Bicas, Leopoldina, and Muriaé in Minas Gerais. It then crossed the border into Rio de Janeiro state paying visit to Itaperuna and Bom Jesus do Itabapoana. To complete the day’s events, the flame made it to Espirito Santo in the town of Cachoeiro de Itapermirim.

Along the route in each stop groups cultural groups did performances that were relevant to the history of each town the Torch passed through. Multiple Brazilian Olympians carried the torch during the day including Othon Valentim Filho who was a part of the 1964 Olympic football team.

On May 17 the torch finally hit Brazil’s coastline for the first time on the relay. In Espirito Santo the flame travelled to Guarapari, Vila Velha and finished up in the state capital Vitoria. The first two cities are popular tourist destinations in the state, while Vitoria is the capital and largest city.

In Vitoria the torch traveled under the Terceira Ponte Bridge, as it took a boat ride into the city. The relay in the city began in the seafront area, before the cauldron was lit in Praça do Papa, the site of Pope John Paul II’s first mass held in Brazil.

The flame will continue up the coastline in Espirito Santos where it will spend one more day. On May 19 the flame will head to the state of Bahia reaching the Northeast region of the country.

Homepage photo: Rio 2016

Written by Aaron Bauer in Rio de Janeiro

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