Olympic flag arrives in Rio

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The arrival of the Olympic flag in Rio de Janeiro marked the dawn of a new era in Rio de Janeiro's history, according to the city's mayor Eduardo Paes.

The flag landed on Brazilian soil for the first time on Monday evening as the countdown towards the 2016 Games began.

Olympic flag arrives in Rio

Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes (L), Brazilian Olympic Commitee's Carlos Arthur Nuzman and Brazilian Olympic athletes hold up the Olympic flag during their arrival from the London 2012 Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro, Aug 13, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

"We are going to make Rio 2016 the Olympics that have the greatest legacy in history," Paes told a packed media conference at Rio's Tom Jobim international airport.

Paes waved the flag as he stepped off the plane to a standing ovation from a crowd of onlookers inside the international airport terminal.

He said the Games had provided the impetus for Rio's revitalization.

"I see the arrival of this Olympic flag as not the start but the consolidation of an important process of transformation for the city," Paes said.

"Rio is a city that has spent too long looking toward the past. I'm sure that this process of transformation, this turning toward the future, has been consolidated here."

The pure-silk Olympic flag will be temporarily displayed in the City Hall where it will be open to public

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