The Olympic torch for the 2014 Winter Games, to be held in Sochi, Russia, has reportedly gone out 44 times during the torch relay towards Sochi on Russia’s Black Sea coast, which is the longest relay in history.
Preparations for the Games have been dogged by delays, cost overruns and criticism over issues including Russia’s treatment of gays, and the torch relay getting interrupted repeatedly since Putin launched it by hoisting the torch high outside the Kremlin last month only added to the woes.
According to Metro.co.uk, the flame spluttered and died at least eight times in the first six days of the relay and a Russian journalist following the planned 40,000-mile relay said that the torch has already gone out at least 44 times on its way to Sochi.
The report mentioned that the torch, which has also burnt too fiercely at times, was made at a Siberian factory that produces submarine-launched ballistic missiles.
However, a spokesman said that the number of times the torch had failed was within the normal range of error and that there had been similar incidents during the relays before the London and Beijing Olympics.
The torches were designed to withstand Russia’s extreme weather conditions, including high winds and temperatures that can range from -40 C to 40 C, the report added. (ANI)