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Olympic flame to be handed to Brazil Wednesday

Reporter: Lucrecia Franco 丨 CCTV.com

04-27-2016 15:36 BJT

The Olympic torchbearers in Greece will hand over the Olympic flame to Brazil Wednesday. The torch is due to arrive in Brazil on May 3rd. Wednesday marks the 100 days until the games.

After the lighting of the flame in ancient Olympia and a six-day relay across Greece, the torch will make a stop in Switzerland before starting its journey across Brazil - through 26 states - before reaching its final destination: Rio's Maracana stadium.

Brazil's most iconic city has completed around 98% of the venues for the 2016 Summer Olympics, but workers are still racing to finish a subway expansion and rapid bus lanes to handle the surge.

"The last stretch is always the most difficult one. And, of course, there are many challenges? but I think we have shown - the organizing committee has shown in the last year - that great progress has been made," said Thomas Bach, president of International Olympic Committee.
Progress that hasn't been optimal in Guanabara Bay-the Olympic sailing venue. It's still contaminated with sewage and debris, but officials say at least 60 percent of the bay is now clean.

And this month, a large wave collapsed a stretch of Rio's seaside bike path, killing at least two people.

When the Olympic flame arrives in the capital Brasilia on May 3rd, the blood sport called Brazilian politics could prove a distraction.

President, Dilma Rousseff, is embroiled in an impeachment process and could be out office when the games begin in August.

Despite Brazil's turmoil, polls show that 70 percent of Rio's residents support the Olympics. Some say they hope the games will bring a respite from the country's political tensions.

 "We need to stop with this low mood, thinking that Rio is not okay because of politics. Politics are one thing, the Olympics are another thing," said one local people.

"I think that Rio's didn't get into the mood because of the political crisis but I think it will, as it did during the World Cup, that was a big party, almost a carnival," another local people said.

Hundreds of athletes have already been here-competing in a final bid to qualify for the games while giving the venues a trial run.

Based on this preview of what's to come, Brazilian officials say they're confident that South America's first Olympic games will burn as brightly as the flame that will open the games on August 5th.

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