Olympics-Brazil's Rousseff scraps Rio Games torch lighting trip

ATHENS, April 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has cancelled plans to attend the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in Greece's Olympia later this month, Greece's Olympic Committee (HOC) said on Friday. The ceremony at the birthplace of the Olympic Games in ancient Greece traditionally marks the countdown to the world's biggest multi-sports event with a torch lighting ceremony and the start of a torch relay. "The President of Brazil Dilma Rousseff has cancelled her presence at the event according to information provided to the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) by the embassy of Brazil," the HOC said in a statement. Rousseff, facing an impeachment effort over a series of scandals and probes in Brazil, had been set to attend the April 21 event along with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and the head of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach. Rio will host the first South American Olympics from Aug. 5-21. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann. Editing by Patrick Johnston)