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Rio 2016 Olympic torch unveiled

Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 11.35.56 AM

The Rio Olympic torch and torch relay route were unveiled on Friday, 399 days out from the opening of the 2016 Rio Games.

The unique design of the torch incorporates “Brazilian flair,” the Rio 2016 website explains. The open segments reveal “harmonious diversity, contagious energy and exuberant nature--with the ground, sea, mountains, sky and sun represented in the colors of the Brazilian flag.” The segments will open up at the “moment of the kiss, when the flame is passed from one bearer to another.”

The torch relay will begin with the traditional flame lighting ceremony in Olympia, Greece, where the Ancient Olympic Games were born. Then the torch will begin its tour of Brazil in May 2016.

Starting in the capital city of Brasilia and passing through an expected 500 cities and towns, the Olympic torch route was designed to reach as much of the Brazilian population as possible--an estimated 90 per cent of the public. Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Rio 2016 President, said, “We want to show the world the chemistry that we believe will be born when the Olympic Flame meets the warmth of the Brazilian people.”

The torch relay will end on August 5th, when it will light the Olympic Cauldron at Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremony. The relay will last between 90 and 100 days, allowing for technical breaks or special photo events.

The Olympic torch relay creates excitement for the upcoming Games and allows the citizens of the host country to participate in the festivities. Here are some photos of past Olympic torches and relays:


Prince Albert II of Monaco (L) holds a Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games torch presented to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) as a p resent for his private collection of Olympic torches during their visit to the torches exhibition in the GUM department store in Moscow, on October 4, 2013. AFP PHOTO / POOL / SERGEI CHIRIKOV (Photo credit should read SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

The Prototype Design For The London 2012 Olympic Torch Is Unveiled

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: LOCOG Chair and former Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe holds a prototype design of the new golden Olympic Torch during its unveiling at St Pancras Station on June 8, 2011 in London, England. 8,000 torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame around the UK during the 70-day Relay, which starts at Land’s End on May 19, 2012. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Jean Toussignant, one of the members of

Jean Toussignant, one of the members of the assembly team from Bombardier, holds a Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch on October 20, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec. Global train and plane manufacturer Bombardier, designer and manufacturer of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch, reached a milestone today with the completion of 6,000 of the 12,000 torches that will be used in the cross-Canada Olympic Torch Relay, in Montreal, Quebec. AFP PHOTO/ ROGERIO BARBOSA (Photo credit should read ROGERIO BARBOSA/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

2008 Beijing Olympics - Olympic Torch Process Unveiled - April 29, 2007

Two people light a sample of Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch in Nanjing Chenguang Group Co., Ltd where the torch are produced on April 29, 2007. (Photo by Osports/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Andrea Pininfarina (R) holds the Olympic

MILAN, ITALY: Andrea Pininfarina (R) holds the Olympic torch of Turin 2006 Winter Games, followed by TOROC president Valentino Castellani as they arrives at Palazzo Marino in Milan, 20 January 2005. AFP PHOTO / Roberto BARRETTI (Photo credit should read ROBERTO BARRETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Olympic Torch Relay, Day 5

SEOUL - JUNE 7: Jung Ah Park carries the Olympic Flame during Day 5 of the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay on June 7, 2004 in Seoul, Korea. The Olympic Flame travels to 34 cities in 27 countries en route to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

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Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong carries th

AUSTIN, TX - DECEMBER 11: Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong carries the Olympic Flame during the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Torch Relay in Austin, Texas, 11 December, 2001. (Photo credit should read TODD WARSHAW/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Torch Relay Johnson

27 Apr 1996: Olympic decathalete Rafer Johnson of the USA carries the Olympic torch on the first leg of the cross country relay from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California to Atlanta, Georgia. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/Allspo

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Michael Phelps potential record chases at Rio Olympics