Greek gymnast Petrounias to start Rio Olympic torch relay

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) - World gymnastics champion Eleftherios Petrounias will start the torch relay for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on April 21.

The Greek gymnast will receive the newly-lit flame during a ceremony at the birthplace of the ancient games in southern Greece.

The meticulously choreographed ceremony is held ahead of every Olympics in front of a 2,600-year-old temple in Ancient Olympia.

The Greek Olympic Committee announced the selection of Petrounias on Monday.

Petrounias, who will be competing at his first Olympics in Rio, won gold on the rings at the world and European championships last year.

He will pass the flame to Brazilian former volleyball great Giovane Gavio. From Ancient Olympia, the flame will be carried through Greece for a week before being handed over to Rio officials on April 27.

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