RFA bantamweight champion Leandro “Pitbull” Higo is set to accomplish another career highlight just 45 days after capturing RFA gold. The 27-year-old Brazilian will take part in one of the most revered traditions in sports.
Higo will carry the Olympic Torch on Monday, June 6, when they torch makes its way to Mossoro in northeastern Brazil prior to the Games of the XXXI Olympiad that are set to take place this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I am proud to bear the name of Mossoro, I love representing my city,” stated Higo. “I am very happy and thrilled to know that I will carry the Olympic Torch. It’s a dream, a gift, an honor for any athlete.”
The Olympic Torch Relay is the ceremonial relaying of the Olympic Flame from Olympia, Greece, to the site of an Olympic Games. It was first performed at the 1936 Berlin Games and has taken place prior to every Games since.
The 2016 Summer Olympics Torch Relay began April 21st and will run until August 5th in advance of the 2016 Summer Olympics. The torch began its Brazilian journey on May 3rd, visiting more than 300 Brazilian cities, including all 26 state capitals and the Federal District. The Brazilian leg began in the nation’s capital, Brasilia, and will end in Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã Stadium, the main venue of the 2016 Olympics.
Tom Cruise, Goldie Hawn, David Beckham, John Legend, Ellen DeGeneres, and current U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump are just a few of the celebrities that have taken part in the storied Olympic tradition.
However, in combat sports, Higo will be joining a much smaller list of prestigious athletes that have been invited to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay. He joins a list that includes all-time MMA great Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC title challenger Ali Bagautinov. In 1996, the Olympic Cauldron was lit by 1960 Olympic gold medalist and the greatest boxer of all time, the late great Muhammad Ali.