Olympic flame begins countdown to 2014 Sochi Games

The countdown to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games has now officially begun with the lighting of the Olympic flame in Greece on Sunday.

Thomas Bach, the newly elected president of the International Olympic Committee, watched as the sun’s rays and a parabolic mirror were used to spark the flame at the Temple of Hera.

“The flame lit today by the Greek sun takes on the responsibility for a peaceful celebration here and now,” Bach said. “The torches will carry it into the Olympic future.”


Eighteen-year-old Greek alpine skier Giannis Antoniou started the relay on a seven-day trip across Greece. Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was scheduled to be the first Russian to bear the torch.

On Oct. 6, the flame will be flown to Moscow where it will begin an unprecedented 123-day relay that is scheduled to include 14,000 bearers traversing more than 40,000 miles.

“The goal and culmination of this journey will be the Olympic Stadium in Sochi,” Bach said. “There, the Olympic flame will remind all the athletes, participants and spectators of our Olympic values.”

The Sochi Games are scheduled for Feb. 7 - 23 and will include approximately 2,800 athletes from more than 80 countries.


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