All Stages of Olympic Torch Relay Will Use Greek Flame – Russian Olympic Chief

MOSCOW, October 6 (R-Sport/RIA Novosti) – Every stage of the Olympic torch relay will begin with the Olympic torch being lit from a flame that has been sent to Russia from Greece, President of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko said Sunday.

Chernyshenko made the statement after an incident during which the Olympic flame was briefly extinguished as it was carried through the Kremlin in the opening stage of the nationwide relay.

The flame went out in the hands of Shavarsh Karapetyan, a famous Soviet era swimmer, shortly after President Vladimir Putin took part in a televized ceremony marking the arrival of the flame in Russia. When Karapetyan began beckoning for help, it was relit with a cigarette lighter by an official standing nearby.

“I wouldn’t devote any special attention to what happened,” said Dmitry Chernyshenko. “There was a misunderstanding because a vent in the torch wasn’t opened properly and the flame wasn’t at the intensity [it was supposed to be].”

In the coming days and months, the flame is due to travel 65,000 kilometers across Russia, including up the country’s highest mountain and to the North Pole, before arriving in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in February.

Flames collected from fire in Greece’s Ancient Olympia will be held in 30 different lamps during the relay event, said Chernyshenko.

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