So cool! Brazil marathoner Vanderlei de Lima filled in brilliantly to light the Olympic torch in Rio after soccer hero Pelé bowed out of the opening ceremonies on Aug. 5th. Keep reading for all the details on this historic event.
The massive torch was lit by Brazilian runner Vanderlei De Lima, 46, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil officially launching the 2016 Olympic summer games. So who is Vanderlei? He is a long distance runner who became famous when he was attacked by a protester at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He fell back from first to third place and ultimately won the bronze medal. He is a hero among the Brazilians.
Brazil, hoped to have their native son Pelé light the torch but after hip replacement surgery he was not feeling up to the task and had to pull out on the day of the event. Despite there being no better choice to light the Olympic torch than the athlete known simply as Pelé, 75, who might be the most famous Brazilian alive on the planet today, Vanderlei, filled in nicely. No Cable TV? Relax! Click Here To Learn How To Watch The Olympics Online
Vanderlei, like Pelé, is a native of Brazil. He is a beloved Brazilian across the land and when he lit the torch at the 2016 Olympic games in front of the entire world, the host country could not have been more proud. The huge fire was majestic and a beautiful sight to behold and certainly enjoyed by Olympic fans everywhere.
The lighting of the torch by Vanderlei comes a day after controversy struck the Olympics before a single medal has been handed out. On Aug. 4th, the Russian’s had 118 athletes banned from competition for participating in a government-sanctioned doping program, ouch. That leaves only 271 olympians on the Russian team which is almost half of the 556 athletes that the US will be sending to Rio.
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Pelé getting the Olympics started by lighting the torch in Rio? Is there an event that you are most excited to see? Who will you be cheering for in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio?