News / Europe

Olympic Torch Travels Across Russia Before Reaching Sochi

Russian Olympic gold medalists, synchronized swimmer Anastasya Davydova (L) and former artistic gymnast Svetlana Khorkina (R),  join their torches during a relay of the Olympic flame in Moscow, Oct. 7, 2013.
Russian Olympic gold medalists, synchronized swimmer Anastasya Davydova (L) and former artistic gymnast Svetlana Khorkina (R), join their torches during a relay of the Olympic flame in Moscow, Oct. 7, 2013.
The great Russian artistic gymnast Svetlana Khorkina holds a torch during a relay for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, Oct. 7, 2013.The great Russian artistic gymnast Svetlana Khorkina holds a torch during a relay for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, Oct. 7, 2013.
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The great Russian artistic gymnast Svetlana Khorkina holds a torch during a relay for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, Oct. 7, 2013.
The great Russian artistic gymnast Svetlana Khorkina holds a torch during a relay for the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, Oct. 7, 2013.
The Olympic flame is in the former Soviet Union for the first time in more than 30 years. The ceremonial flame will travel thousands of kilometers across Russia before ending up in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi for the Winter Games.

The ceremonial flame began its journey on Red Square in Moscow. Prince Albert of Monaco, a former Olympic bobsledder and a member of the International Olympic Committee, was one of the first runners to carry it.

"It is my eighth time carrying the Olympic flame, so it is a lucky number. I hope it is lucky today," since Prince Albert. "But it is a - you do not really prepare for it - you know what to expect, but it is still a great joy and a great sense of pride, to share this with everybody here in Moscow. Leading up to the games in Sochi, I think that it is a wonderful thing and a wonderful feeling."

The flame will spend a couple of days touring the city via the Moscow River and will even take a spin on the capital’s metro.

About 13,000 volunteers will carry the Olympic torch across Russia for its biggest journey yet - 65,000 kilometers. Some of the highlights of the relay include Europe’s highest point, Mount Elbrus, and the bottom of the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal.

Even the mode of transport for the flame will be unusual, at times as it will take a ride on a camel, a dog sled, and even a trip in a Soyuz rocket into space.

The flame will end up in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on February 7, just in time for the Winter Games.

This is the first time Russia has hosted the games since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1980, the Summer Games were held in Moscow.

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