The Olympic flame arrived in Brasília on Tuesday morning and was welcomed into the Olympic host country by president Dilma Rousseff, who is currently facing impeachment.
The flame flew in to Brazil from Lausanne, Switzerland, which is home to the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters. The torch will be passed along by 12,000 people in Brazil before it reaches Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the opening ceremonies on Aug. 5.
Brazil women’s volleyball team captain Fabiana Claudino was chosen as the first relay runner to carry the torch. Olympic bronze medalist marathoner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima was among the relay runners for the torch’s first day in Brazil.
Next week, the Brazilian senate will vote to open an impeachment trial against Rousseff over allegations that she manipulated government funds. She has denied all allegations and believes there is a “coup d’etat” aimed at removing her from office.
Political concerns are just one headache for the country as the Zika virus continues to cause global worry and Olympic organizers have tried to clean up the polluted bodies of water that will be used by some sports in the Summer Games.
The flaming torch has its own Twitter account with more than 16,400 followers as of Tuesday morning.