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.
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 10:10 AM
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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid