Substitute Rio lighter had hour's notice after Pele withdrew
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) How's this for last-minute notice?
Marathoner Vanderlei de Lima says he found out just an hour before the Olympic cauldron was lit at the opening ceremony that he was the one who would carry the flame.
He told the story to a group of Brazilian sports journalists who accidentally ran into him buying beer at a gas station after the show ended. He was still wearing his Rio 2016 outfit.
''I never thought that I could be that person to light the cauldron,'' he said.
Three-time football World Cup champion Pele was widely expected to perform the task, but earlier on Friday he said he was ill. His announcement created a lot of mystery about who would be chosen.
At the 2004 games, an Irish spectator wearing a kilt, knee-socks and a beret tackled de Lima while he was leading the Olympic marathon. Instead of gold, he fell back to take bronze.