John M. Becker

Olympic Torch Blows Out Just After Arrival in Moscow

Filed By John M. Becker | October 06, 2013 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: embarassing moments, Moscow, Olympic flame, Olympic torch, Olympics 2014, Russia, Sochi, Sochi Olymipcs, Vladimir Putin

extinguished_torch.jpgThe Olympic flame -- which was lit last week in Greece in preparation for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia -- arrived in Moscow today for the start of its 4-month, 39,000-mile relay journey across that country.

It received a hero's welcome: according to BuzzFeed, the flame had its own seat on the airplane, then was carried by a deputy prime minister onto the tarmac where dozens of uniformed military members greeted it. It was then brought from the airport to central Moscow by an elaborate motorcade.

President Vladimir Putin strode out to meet the flame in Red Square, where he lit a cauldron and spoke triumphantly. "[The] Olympic flame -- symbol of the most important sports competition of this planet, symbol of peace and friendship -- has arrived in Russia," he said. At the conclusion of his remarks, Putin proclaimed, "Til we meet in Sochi."

Then, as the flame took a ceremonial loop through the Kremlin, things took an embarrassing turn: one of the torches went out.

The AP reports:

The glitch occurred when a torch bearer ran through a long passageway leading into the Kremlin, which apparently created a wind tunnel, extinguishing the flame. A man standing along the route, most likely part of the presidential security service, pulled out a lighter and the flame leaped back to life.

Sochi organizing committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko reportedly said on Twitter that the torch valve had not been fully opened.

In case you're wondering, yes -- the entire embarrassing spectacle was caught on video.


I don't believe in omens, but if I did, I'd say this wasn't a good one for the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics.

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