Athens: The wait for a green flag to the Rio Olympics 2016 journey ended on Thursday as the Olympics torch was lit in Athens at the ancient Olympia to mark the beginning of the 2016 edition.

The torch, lit on April 21, will cross continents before ending in the Brazilian city on August 5.

Roughly 12,000 athletes will carry the torch. It is due to arrive in Brazil on April 27, where it will be taken through 83 cities and 500 towns.

The opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics 2016 is scheduled on August 5. The major international multi-sport event will conclude on August 21.