It was in world-famous Ipanema that International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach passed the Olympic flame to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as the Relay made its way towards the Maracanã and the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
Passing the flame to President Bach was Rio 2016 Organising Committee President, Brazilian Olympic Committee President and fellow Olympian Carlos Arthur Nuzman. The torchbearers on either side of this illustrious trio made this moment even more poignant, as both of them had special stories to tell about how their lives had been benefited by the work of the organisations represented by the three leaders.
Twenty-year-old Raissa Souza de Lima passed the Olympic flame to Carlos Arthur Nuzman. Raissa is a beneficiary of Fight for Peace (FFP), an NGO that works in the Complexo da Maré in Rio de Janeiro and is supported by the IOC and the Brazilian Olympic Committee. Fight for Peace combines boxing and martial arts with education and personal development to realise the potential of young people in communities affected by crime, violence and social exclusion.
Growing up with a difficult home life, Fight for Peace helped Raissa to control her emotions and anger, as she started to learn judo. She now helps as an assistant at Fight for Peace teaching children judo. Speaking before the event, she said: “Without Fight for Peace, something terrible could have happened. The Olympics in Rio will be an event that surely will mark Brazil for a long time, as well as the life of Brazilians who will compete. And as I am a judo athlete with a dream of competing in the Olympics, I feel very happy with the opportunity to represent my sport and the youth of the Complexo da Maré by carrying the Olympic torch. It is a very important and symbolic part of the event.”