Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes, front left, holds up the Olympic flag upon its arrival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. / AP Photo
(AP) RIO DE JANEIRO - The Olympic flag has touched down in Rio de Janeiro, the city that will host the 2016 summer Games.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes waved the five-ringed flag as he descended Monday from his flight from London, where he was on hand for the Olympic closing ceremony a day earlier.
The flag's arrival marks the official start of Rio's Olympic preparations, with the city to undertake nearly 200 projects to construct sports venues and other infrastructure during the next four years.
Not all are elated; a small group of demonstrators gathered outside the airport where the mayor landed to protest against evictions connected with Olympic projects.
Rio will be the first South American city to host the Olympics.