Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

First Rio 2016 Olympic torchbearer announced


OLYMPIA, GREECE - SEPTEMBER 29: Priestesses perform during the lighting ceremony of the Olympic Flame for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Ancient Olympia on September 29, 2013 in Olympia, Greece. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Getty Images

World champion gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece will be the first torchbearer for the Rio Olympic torch relay, receiving the flame in Olympia on April 21.

Petrounias, the World champion on still rings, will be delivered the flame from the High Priestess Katerina Lehou at the lighting ceremony.

He will then pass it to retired two-time Brazil Olympic indoor volleyball champion Giovane Gávio.

The Rio Olympic cauldron will be lit at the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 5, igniting the first Olympics in South America.

For the Sochi 2014 relay, the first torchbearers were Greek Alpine skier Ioannis Antoniou and Russian hockey star Alex Ovechkin.

For London 2012, the first torchbearer was British-born Greek swimmer Spyridon Gianniotis.

MORE: Rio Olympic torch unveiled

Follow @nzaccardi