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'Girl from Ipanema' to carry Olympic torch through Rio

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - Several Brazilian celebrities, including Helo Pinheiro - immortalized in the 1960s Bossa Nova classic song "Girl from Ipanema" - are to carry the Olympic torch through Rio de Janeiro from Wednesday until Friday‘s opening of the 2016 Games.

Rio games organising committee chief Mario Andrade said Tuesday that the now 71-year-old Pinheiro would be one of more than 600 Brazilians to carry the torch over its last 90 kilometres. On Friday it will arrive at the Maracana stadium.

Cafu, captain of Brazil‘s 2002 Football World Cup champions, volleyballer Jackie Silva, Brazil‘s first female Olympic gold medallist and Carlos Alberto Parreira, coach of the 1994 World Cup champions are among the others who will carry the torch through Rio.

Security is to be tight in the face of expected protesters who succeeded in briefly extinguishing the torch in the coastal city of Angra dos Reis. A highlight is expected late Thursday when the torch is carried along the Copacabana beach.

The last of the 12,494 carriers, who will light the Olympic flame in the Maracana at the end of its 10,000-kilometre journey through Brazil, remains a closely guarded secret.

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