Olympic flag arrives in Rio

Updated: Aug 14, 2012, 18:42 PM IST

Rio de Janeiro: The Olympic flag has arrived here, marking the dawn of a new era in Rio de Janeiro`s history.

The flag landed on Brazilian soil for the first time Monday evening as the countdown towards the 2016 Games began.

"We are going to make Rio 2016 the Olympics that have the greatest legacy in history," city mayor Eduardo Paes. Paes told a packed media conference at Tom Jobim International Aairport, reports Xinhua.

Paes waved the flag as he stepped off the plane to a standing ovation from a crowd of onlookers inside the international airport terminal.

He said the Games had provided the impetus for Rio`s revitalisation.

"I see the arrival of this Olympic flag as not the start but the consolidation of an important process of transformation for the city," Paes said.

"Rio is a city that has spent too long looking toward the past. I`m sure that this process of transformation, this turning toward the future, has been consolidated here."

The pure-silk Olympic flag will be temporarily displayed in the City Hall where it will be open for public viewing.