Brazil's Rio welcomes Olympic flag


The Olympic flag touched down in Rio de Janeiro yesterday as the city begins preparations to host the 2016 summer Games.

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes waved the five-ringed flag as he descended today from his flight from London, where he was on hand for the Olympic closing ceremony.

The flag’s arrival marks the official start of Rio’s Olympic preparations, with the city to undertake nearly 200 projects to construct sports venues and other infrastructure during the next four years.

While visiting in June, members of the International Olympic Committee said time lines were "already very tight" and that the work to be done "is considerable".

Not all are happy with the hosting of the Olympics and a small group of demonstrators gathered outside the airport where the mayor landed to protest against evictions connected with Olympic projects.

Rio will be the first South American city to host the Olympics.