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Olympic Torch Arrival in Rio Greeted by Protests

  • VOA News

A demonstrator with her face covered marches during a protest on the route of the Olympic torch against the money spent on the Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics, in Niteroi, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016.

A demonstrator with her face covered marches during a protest on the route of the Olympic torch against the money spent on the Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics, in Niteroi, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016.

Wednesday's arrival of the Olympic torch in Rio de Janeiro was greeted by protesters angry over a lack of social and economic progress in the shadow of the multi-billion dollar global sporting event.

A yacht steered by seven Brazilian Olympic sailors made the one-hour journey from the town of Niteroi to a historic Rio naval base, where sailors Torben and Lars Grael presented the torch to Mayor Eduardo Paes.

Along the path of the torch relay, police were forced to use tear gas to break up a demonstration against the upcoming Games, with protesters angered over the event's $12 billion price tag while Brazil remains mired in its worst economic recession in decades.

The Rio Olympics are also overshadowed by the outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, a massive political corruption scandal and the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. Over 1 million tickets for Olympic events remained unsold as of Wednesday.

But there is an early bright spot for the host country -- the Brazil women's football ((soccer)) team defeated China 3-0 Wednesday in the first official contest of the Rio games.

The Olympic torch will travel through Rio for three days, visiting underprivileged suburbs, beaches, and finally the famous Christ the Redeemer statue on Friday before arriving at Maracana Stadium to begin the 2016 Olympic games.

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