As host country Brazil struggles with an impeachment crisis and its worst recession in decades, the countdown to the Rio de Janeiro Olympic games begins with the lighting of the torch at the site of the ancient Games in Olympia, Greece. Rough Cut (No reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The official countdown to this year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics began on Thursday (April 21) when the torch was lit at the site of the ancient Games, with organisers hoping it will shift attention away from Brazil's political and financial turmoil. On a glorious spring day with the sun burning hot above the ancient stadium in Olympia, an actress playing a high priestess lit a torch from the rays of the sun at the temple of Hera, using a parabolic mirror, to kick off a domestic relay. Brazilian organisers will receive the flame in a handover at the Panathenian stadium on April 27 in Athens, site of the first modern Olympics, and will start their relay on May 3 in the capital Brasilia, ending in Rio on the day of the opening ceremony. Preparations for the first Games in South America, which run from Aug. 5-21, have been plagued by problems and a shortage of cash for organisers as the country is experiencing its worst recession in decades. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff, who cancelled her trip to ancient Olympia, is facing impeachment. The crisis has paralysed the country's ability to revive its economy from recession in the midst of a huge corruption scandal involving state-run oil firm Petrobras.