2014 Winter Olympics Flame Goes Out on Way to Sochi, Relit with Lighter

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterOctober 7, 2013

The Olympic torch relay is a process full of deep, historical significance with the symbolism of the flame burning bright and constant. 

Here's a little about the origins of the relay from Mark Hughes of InfoPlease:

The ancient Greeks believed that fire was given to humankind by Prometheus, and considered fire to have sacred qualities. Mirrors were used to focus the sun's rays to ignite flames that would burn perpetually in front of Greek temples. Greek rituals also included torch relays, although this was not actually part of the Olympic Games.

We were skimming through the history of the relay and the flame because we're pretty sure that it doesn't say, "Don't take it through a wind tunnel and have the flame go out."

It definitely doesn't say, "If it does go out, then quickly get a stern-looking chap in a suit to get his lighter out and relight, much like they did in ancient Olympia."

However, accidents happen, and in a torch relay that takes place over 123 days across 65,000 kilometers of terrain, according to the Olympics' website, a little mistake was bound to happen sooner or later.

In this case, it was sooner.

Russian president Vladimir Putin only began the torch relay Sunday.

The flame will continue around Russia for about four months with Putin having promised that the ceremony would show off Russia "the way that it is and the way we love it," per the BBC.

It will also disappear underwater in a submarine at one stage and head into space for a walk on the International Space Station.

On the latter, it will again be unlit, the BBC adds.


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