Olympic flame lands in Brazil for 94-day relay to Games

Updated: 2016-05-04 10:27


Olympic flame lands in Brazil for 94-day relay to Games

Syrian girl Hanan Daqqah poses with a replica of the Olympic flame at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia, Brazil, May 3, 2016. [Photo/IC]

Some 12,000 torch bearers will carry the flame across South America's largest country. In Brasilia, they will include a refugee from the Syrian civil war, 12-year-old Hanan Daqqah, who arrived in Brazil with her family in February 2015.

Hanan, who was among the first torchbearers, was selected by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Organizing Committee of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to run with the Olympic Torch on Tuesday in the Brazilian capital Brasilia, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing. 

"The UNHCR said in a statement that with the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution at highest levels in the post-World War II era, Hanan's carrying of the Olympic torch through Brasilia is about solidarity with refugees everywhere," the spokesman noted.

The teenager lives in Sao Paulo with her family and speaks fluent Portuguese and has many Brazilian friends.