News / Europe

UN Chief Carries Olympic Torch in Sochi

IOC President Thomas Bach, right, hands over the Olympic torch to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the torch relay arrives in Sochi,  ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 6, 2014, in Russia.
IOC President Thomas Bach, right, hands over the Olympic torch to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the torch relay arrives in Sochi, ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 6, 2014, in Russia.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took part in the Olympic torch relay Thursday, one day before the Winter Olympic Games officially open in Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach passed the torch to Ban next to the Sochi River. Bach said he was glad to send an "Olympic message of peace and understanding."

Fans cheered both men as they carried the Olympic flame toward Fisht Olympic Stadium, where opening ceremonies promising to be spectacular will be held on Friday.

Qualifying rounds began on Thursday in several sports.

WATCH: Video clip of Ban Ki-moon press conference in Sochi:

UN Chief Condemns Anti-gay Lawsi
X
February 06, 2014
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned anti-gay discrimination and called on warring parties worldwide to observe an "Olympic truce," the day before the winter Olympic Games officially open in Sochi, Russia.

Russia took the lead in team figure skating competition, a new team gold medal event at the Winter Olympics.  Russia's world pairs champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maksim Trankov crafted a thrilling performance to finish first with 83.79 points.

Snowboarding slopestyle also debuted at the Winter Games on Thursday.  Austria's Anna Gasser qualified for the women's final with the top score of 95.50, while Canada's Maxence Parrot secured his place in the men's final with the high score of 97.50.  

In other news, Ban condemned anti-gay discrimination and called on warring parties worldwide to observe an "Olympic truce."

On Thursday, he indirectly referenced a new Russian law banning the spread of "gay propaganda" among minors - a law critics say can be broadly interpreted to crack down on support of gay rights in general.

On the security front, officials remain on high alert for possible terrorist attacks linked to the Olympic Games.  U.S. homeland security officials are warning airlines flying to Russia to watch out for toothpaste tubes that may be filled with bomb-making materials.

The officials cited no specific threat.

  • Jamie Anderson of the U.S. gestures at the finish line during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying session at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Jessika Jenson of the U.S. performs a last jump during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying session at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Swiss team members ski past an anti-aircraft missile battery during a training session for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Russia's Semen Pavlichenko speeds down the track during a men luge training at the Sanki sliding center in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • France's four-man bobsleigh pilot Thibault-Alexis Godefroy and his team start during an unofficial men's bobsleigh progressive training at the Sanki sliding center in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • Members of the U.S. freestyle skiing team pose with members of a Cossack dancing chorus dressed in traditional costumes in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 6, 2014.
  • A stray dog sits near Olympic volunteers in Olympic Park ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 6, 2014.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid