As the Olympic flame made a stopover on Friday (29 April) in Lausanne before going to Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee president expressed his confidence ahead of the Games but reminded the Brazilian hosting city “that there is still a lot to do.”
“The last stretch of the preparation are always the most demanding moments in the preparation and we have confidence in our Brazilian friends that they know that there is still a lot to do in these last moments and we are standing side-by-side with them to accomplish also the last challenges which still remain,” IOC president, Thomas Bach said.
The flame was presented at the UN headquarters in Geneva, before heading to The Olympic Museum in the afternoon, via the lake, carried in its safety lamp, on a rowing boat.
A ceremony was held in its honour in the presence of Bach and Rio 2016 Organising Committee President Carlos Nuzman.
The last time the Olympic flame was in Lausanne was during the relay for the Games in Athens in 2004.
Before coming to Switzerland, the Olympic flame was in Greece on 21 April, but the ceremony was clouded by a new bike lane collapsing in Rio.
At least two people were killed when part of a new cycle lane collapsed into the ocean in the Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro.
The 50-meter long lane that collapsed skirted the Atlantic coast. It was part of a more than 3 kilometre-long cycle lane opened in January in an urban regeneration project to spruce up the city for the games, which run from Aug. 5-21.
“With regard to the collapse of the bridge we have expressed our sympathy already, immediately after the incident and we have confidence in the measures having been taken by the mayor of Rio the inquiry he has ordered and we are now waiting for the results of this inquiry,” Bach said.
Rio will be the first South American city ever to host the Olympics but is struggling with its biggest recession in almost a century and a political crisis that could lead to the possible ousting of the president Dilma Rousseff.