Olympic rings lightens Rio's night

Updated: 2015-05-21 15:07


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Olympic rings lightens Rio's night

Fireworks explode over the Olympic rings during its inauguration at the Madureira Park ahead the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, May 20, 2015. The official symbol of the Olympic Games was donated to Rio by the United Kingdom after the rings decorated the Tyne Bridge, at Newcastle on London Olympic Games 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO - The most iconic symbol of the Olympic Games is decorating the host city for the 2016 Games as Rio's City Hall installed giant Olympic Rings in Madureira Park in Rio De Janeiro on Wednesday.

The symbol, which represents the union of the five continents, was donated by the United Kingdom. During the London Olympic Games, the rings decorated the Tyne Bridge, in Newcastle, one of the football host cities for the 2012 Games.

In order to bring them to Rio, Rio's government enabled their transport by ship, with the support of the Brazilian Navy. The trip took 20 days, between January and February this year.

The rings were installed in Madureira Park in northern Rio, far from the heart of the Olympics in the western suburb of Barra da Tijuca.

The choice of Madureira Park as the "home" of the Olympic Rings complies with the concept of integrating the whole city with the Olympics.

"The Olympic Games are for the people of Rio de Janeiro and it is important that residents feel they are a fundamental part of this movement which is transforming the city. Madureira is in the heart of the suburbs, where our identity was created, and is in one of the poorest regions of the city where the Games have had a great affect," Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes said.

The inauguration ceremony was also joined by the president of the Coordination Commission for the Rio 2016 Games from the International Olympic Committee, Nawal el Moutawakel, and the president of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

The Rio Olympic Games will open on August 5, 2016.