Putin Lights Olympic Flame, Wind Blows It Out

Ceremonial lighting doesn't exactly go off without a hitch

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 6, 2013 11:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin might be capable of herculean feats, but keeping the Olympic flame lit proved a little vexing today in Moscow. "Today is a joyous and momentous day," he said at the Red Square lighting ceremony for the Sochi Games, as per the BBC. "The Olympic flame—the symbol of the planet's main sports event, the symbol of peace and friendship—has arrived in Russia, and in a few minutes it will be on its way around our huge country." The problem came later when a torchbearer ran through a passage leading to the Kremlin, which the AP notes created the effect of a wind tunnel, and blew the torch out. A lighter-wielding security officer came to the rescue, and the flame continued on its way. The flame, which was lighted last week in Greece, arrived in Russia today; it will make an epic 123-day journey before it kicks off the Sochi Games.

Russian figure skaters Lina Fedorova and Maxim Moroshkin carry the Olympic torch, at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.
Russian figure skaters Lina Fedorova and Maxim Moroshkin carry the Olympic torch, at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks while figure skaters Lina Fedorova and Maxim Moroshkin, right, carry the Olympic torch, at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks while figure skaters Lina Fedorova and Maxim Moroshkin, right, carry the Olympic torch, at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Vladimir Putin smiles as he arrives to light the Olympic flame, at the Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.
Vladimir Putin smiles as he arrives to light the Olympic flame, at the Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Swimming champ Savarsh Karapetyan indicates that his flame has blown out, in Moscow,  Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.
Swimming champ Savarsh Karapetyan indicates that his flame has blown out, in Moscow, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/APTN)
A security officer lights an Olympic torch for Savarsh Karapetyan after the flame was blown out, in Moscow,  Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.
A security officer lights an Olympic torch for Savarsh Karapetyan after the flame was blown out, in Moscow, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/APTN)
Vladimir Putin ceremonially lights the Olympic flame with a torch at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, prior to the 123-day torch relay to Sochi.
Vladimir Putin ceremonially lights the Olympic flame with a torch at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, prior to the 123-day torch relay to Sochi.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
Vladimir Putin, a girl and a boy light an Olympic flame with a torch at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.
Vladimir Putin, a girl and a boy light an Olympic flame with a torch at Moscow's Red Square on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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