Carlos_Nuzman_in_Manaus_February_13_2011February 18 - The Olympic spirit came to the north east of Brazil in a special ceremony to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The event was held at Teatro Amazonas, the State's most important cultural asset, and celebrated the 2,000 days to the Olympic Games milestone.

The event was attended by the President of the Organizing Committee for the 2016 Olympic Games and of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (BOC), Carlos Nuzman, the Mayor of Manaus and former Governor of the state of Amazonas Amazonino Mendes, Rio 2016 General Director Leonardo Gryner, several BOC and Rio 2016 officials and Presidents of the Brazilian Confederations of Olympic sports, associated to Rio 2016 Committee.

The ceremony was hosted by Roberto Gesta de Melo, the President of the Brazilian Athletics Confederation, whose headquarters are in Manaus.

Nuzman offered plates specially designed for the occasion to Mayor  Amazonino Mendes and to CBAt president.

Nuzman underlined that the visit to Manuas has a special significance as it highlights the idea that Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games belong to the whole country.

"We have decided to come to Manaus to start the integration of Rio 2016 Games to the whole country," he said.

"Nothing could be more emblematic than the celebration of the landmark of 2,000 days to the Games in the Amazon region, a symbol of the biodiversity of both Brazil and the world."

"The people of the state of Amazonas are honoured to mark the beginning of this integration of the 2016 Olympic Games to the whole country through sport.

"May the gods of Amazon mythology bless Rio 2016 Games," the Mayor of Manaus declared.

The ceremony held in Manaus had yet another component of Olympic symbolism.

Teatro Amazonas, a scenario of elegance and beauty in the Amazon region, was built in 1896 by the then State Governor Eduardo Gonçalves Ribeiro, when the region and the country enjoyed the benefits of the rubber cycle.

In that same year the first edition of the Olympic Games in the modern era was staged in Athens by Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

A performance by the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra was part of the programme of the ceremony.