Rio considering two Olympic flames during 2016 Games: report

Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:46am EST
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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Rio de Janeiro could have two Olympic flames burning simultaneously at two different venues, officials in the Brazilian city said.

The current plan is for the Olympic cauldron to burn at the Maracana stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies and soccer finals will be held.

But officials are now suggesting another flame could be lit at the Nilton Santos stadium where the blue riband athletics events take place.

"There has to be a flame at the Maracana because it will be lit there," Leonardo Caetano, the director of ceremonies for Rio2016, told Globo's sports website.

"And the Olympic stadium historically has a flame. So the way to go is with two flames. But nothing has been decided yet."

Olympic officials are in Rio this week to monitor preparations for South America's first Olympiad and for executive committee meetings.

IOC President Thomas Bach said he was not opposed to such initiatives.

"Frankly, I haven't thought about it," he said. "I am in favor of a solution where people can see that the Olympic flame is in the city and that allows them to feel the Olympic spirit."

(Reporting by Andrew Downie in Sao Paulo; editing by Justin Palmer)

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach greets the President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and head of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Carlos Nuzman after a news conference at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, February 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino