Russia endured a moment of embarrassment in the Sochi Winter Games build-up as the Olympic flame died out at the start of the torch relay.
According to Stuff.co.nz, nationally televised, the moment came when a portly former swim champion carried the torch through a Kremlin gate in Moscow.
He looked around for help and a guard standing by the pathway came to the rescue with a cigarette lighter, the report said.
The torch had been flown in from Greece after being lit Saturday at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, the report added.
It was handed over to Russia at the marble Athens stadium that hosted the first modern Games in 1896, the report further said.
The flame had been brought to Moscow by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who stepped off the jet as a military band played and an honour guard of rifle-toting soldiers in woolly Astrakhan collars stood by, chins jutting high, according to the report.
Critics have questioned the 60 billion dollar cost and the wisdom of holding the Winter Games in a subtropical locale, and have called a security decree Putin signed draconian because it restricted movement and banned rallies unrelated to the Olympics, the report mentioned. (ANI)