Sochi's Olympic Flame Lit —With the Sun
Torch begins 40K-mile trek to Russia's Winter Olympics
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2013 7:24 AM CDT
Actress Ino Menegaki, dressed as a high priestess, raises the Olympic Flame during a ceremony in Ancient Olympia, Greece, on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

(Newser) – The sun's rays were harnessed today to spark the flame that will travel some 40,000 miles to kick off Sochi's 2014 Olympic Games, reports the BBC, in a ceremony held in Olympus, Greece. The flame first passed to Russian hockey sensation Aleksandr Ovechkin, who carried the torch on the first leg of its planned 123-day journey, which will see it change hands about 14,000 times. The torch will travel to Europe's highest mountain, the bottom of a Russian lake, and even the International Space Station before the Sochi Games begin in February.

The lighting was not entirely focused on sport, with Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach seemingly knocking Russia's crackdown on gays by calling the torch a symbol of friendship free of "any form of discrimination." As per the AP, he continued: "The Olympic Games should inspire the people of the world and especially the political authorities by showing them that quarrels and conflicts can be addressed with peaceful means."

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Sep 30, 2013 2:02 AM CDT
btw the ceremony was held in Olympia not Olympus.
Sep 29, 2013 2:51 PM CDT
They gonna drag it through Baikal and Space? That seem a little silly.
Sep 29, 2013 1:18 PM CDT
The first openly fascist Olympics: Russian, police state, Putin. wonderful. In 1979, I had a job for the 80 Moscow games as the ABC Executive producer's Russian speaking assistant. Just out of USC I was on my way...oh wait, Brezhnev is going to Kabul? F___ the Russians. I was protected from a KGB tasking order by the NSA,CIA and FBI CI6 for 10 months in 88-89. HEARTVOTE (com