Academy National Faculty Member Helps Lead Rio Olympic Torch Relay

By August 11, 2016News & Events
Daniel Bertorelli

United States Sports Academy National Faculty member Daniel Bertorelli
was central to the success of the torch run leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

As the Olympic Torch wound its way through Brazil en route to the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron in Rio de Janeiro on 5 August 2016, a United States Sports Academy National Faculty member was central to the success of the torch run.

Daniel Bertorelli, who owns a film production company in Rio, has been working with the Rio 2016 Olympic Committee and served as one of the Master of Ceremonies for the Rio 2016 Olympic Torch Relay.  In addition to helping organize and execute the intricate details of the torch run, he was selected to carry the torch through the streets of Juiz de Fora, his hometown in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

As a former Governor of the American Society of Rio de Janeiro, Bertorelli has served as an ambassador to educate people about the symbolism and operational details of the torch.

“I traveled all over Brazil visiting more than 300 cities until the 5th of August, when we arrived in Rio de Janeiro for the Opening Ceremony for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” he said.

The Olympic flame is an important symbol of the Games, representing peace, unity and friendship. The numerous festivities organized along the relay route announce the coming of the Games and allow the general public to share the Olympic spirit.    To maintain the link with ancient tradition, the flame is lit in Olympia, Greece, and carried by thousands of individual torch bearers to the host city.  The torch is used to pass the flame from one bearer to another during the relay, until the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron at the opening ceremony.

The 2016 Summer Olympics torch relay ran from 21 April to 5 August 2016.  After being lit in Olympia, the torch traveled to Athens on 27 April. The torch began its Brazilian journey on 3 May, visiting more than 300 Brazilian cities, including all 26 state capitals. The Brazilian leg began in the capital, Brasilia, and ended in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium, the main venue of the 2016 Olympics, and the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic Cauldron on 5 August. More than 12,000 people participated in the relay, including celebrities, governmental leaders, past Olympians, and ordinary citizens. The torch traveled over 12,000 miles by road and 10,000 miles by air during the relay.

In addition to serving on the Academy’s National Faculty, Bertorelli is an actor, screenwriter and founder of The Hercules Company, an entertainment film production company in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Hercules focuses on action, adventure and sports audiovisual content.

Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit