THREE years after becoming the world’s oldest skydiver, Aida Gemanque became the oldest Olympic torch bearer on Saturday when she carried the flame in the Amazonian city of Macapa, aged 106.
Gemanque broke the record formerly held by Alexander Kaptarenko, who was 101 when he took part in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics relay.
“I am overjoyed. I have to be grateful for this joy, which I never expected in my life. I am immensely proud,” Gemanque was quoted as saying by Rio2016.com.
The Macapa leg of the Rio 2016 relay also featured Maria das Dores Rosário Almeida, who has dedicated her life to campaigning for racial equality in Brazil’s Amazon region.
“We fight for fair development and the well-being for all black women, ancestral warriors, of the present and future,” Almeida said. “This is what the Olympic flame represents for us.”
The 95-day torch relay will pass through 325 Brazilian cities and involve some 12,000 runners before ending at Rio’s Maracana Stadium for the lighting of the Olympic cauldron on August 5.