Olympic torch

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Using Jaguar in Olympic Ceremony Ends Up Being Terrible Idea

It was chained up during Brazil torch relay

(Newser) - Using a live jaguar at an Olympic torch relay ceremony—what could go wrong? Officials in Manaus, Brazil, discovered the answer to that question Monday when the animal was shot dead after escaping its leash and approaching one of the soldiers sent to recapture it, Reuters reports. In what the... More »

Rio's Olympic Flame Begins Its 15-Week Odyssey

Officials promise 2016 Games will be a success

(Newser) - The Olympic flame has been kindled at the birthplace of the ancient games in Greece, heralding the start of a 15-week journey leading to the Aug. 5 opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, reports the AP . IOC and Rio organizing committee leaders attended Thursday's flame-lighting at Ancient Olympia, where... More »

Gay Protester in Russia Detained at Torch Relay

He unfurled a rainbow flag

(Newser) - A gay Russian protester was detained today for unfurling a rainbow flag during the Olympic torch relay as it passed through his hometown of Voronezh. Photos uploaded by his friends show Pavel Lebedev pulling out the flag and then being detained by Olympic security personnel, who wrestle him to the... More »

Torch Bearer Carries Olympic Flame, Then Dies

Vadim Gorbenko has heart attack

(Newser) - A Russian wrestling coach carried the Olympic flame 500 feet, had his photo taken, said he didn't feel well ... and ended up dead of a heart attack, an official said today. Vadim Gorbenko, 73, who had trained top wrestlers and also acted as a sports school director, was taking... More »

Olympic Torch Returns From Space

Crew parachutes into Kazakhstan

(Newser) - A Russian space capsule carrying the Sochi Olympic torch and three astronauts returned to Earth today from the International Space Station in a flawless landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan. The Soyuz capsule landed at 8:49 local time, about three and a half hours after undocking from the station... More »

Olympic Torch Makes Historic Spacewalk

Cosmonauts take it outside International Space Station

(Newser) - There it is—history being made. The Sochi Olympic torch was out into the great unknown today, taken outside of the International Space Station for some amazing photo ops. Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy were the two that handled the torch during their two-hour spacewalk. The torch blasted... More »

Olympic Torch Blasts Off for Space Station

Cosmonauts aren't planning on lighting it

(Newser) - The Russians are taking the Olympic torch relay to a new height—the International Space Station. The 2014 Sochi torch, which will not be lit during its five days in space, blasted off on a Soyuz rocket this morning accompanied by Russia's Mikhail Tyurin, American Rick Mastracchio, and Koici... More »

Teen Grabs Olympic Torch Screaming 'Allahu Akbar'

Torch bearer Anna Skora manages to hang on

(Newser) - Talk about wanting a spot in the Olympic limelight. A teenager ran out on a road in Maidstone, England, today and tried to wrestle away the Olympic torch from its bearer while shouting "Allahu Akbar"—Arabic for "God is Great," reports the Evening Standard . Torch guards... More »

Olympic Torch Bearer Proposes During Relay

David State stopped mid-relay and handed off torch

(Newser) - Olympic torch bearers probably don't often stop in the middle of their relays, but David State had good reason: He got down on one knee today between England's Marske-by-the-Sea and Loftus, handed the torch to a security official, and proposed to his girlfriend Christine Langham. She said yes,... More »

Olympic Flame Lit in Greece

Torch begins first leg of its journey

(Newser) - The Olympic flame has been lit and is on its 1,800-mile journey around Greece before it makes its way to London next week. A “high priestess” (read: actress) ignited the flame by catching the sun’s rays in a mirror at a ceremony in Olympia’s Temple of... More »

Olympic Cops Need Therapy After Games End

Guards for Olympic torch will receive psychological debriefings

(Newser) - As an officer for the Scotland Yard, this assignment sounds like a dream come true: Forget your regular duties for 70 days and travel throughout Britain with the Olympic torch in the run-up to the 2012 London Games. But the officers hand-picked for the once-in-a-lifetime assignment will receive psychological counseling... More »

Identity of Torch Bearer Remains a Mystery

Mother of marathoner, Wayne Gretzky on short list to light Olympic fire

(Newser) - Speculation is running wild in Canada about who will light the Olympic cauldron at tonight's opening ceremony. Wayne Gretzky is a popular, if obvious, guess, but many hope the honor will fall to Betty Fox. Fox is the mother of Terry Fox, the late marathon runner who ran across Canada... More »

2010 Olympic Torch Looks Familiar ... to Potheads

Winter sports design looks like a joint to many

(Newser) - The 2010 Olympic torch gets attention wherever it goes, much of it from people who look at the sleek metal shape and see a joint, the Toronto Star reports. The resemblance is probably unintentional——the design is supposed to look like the tracks skis and skates leave on snow... More »

Why the Chinese Need Olympic Glory

(Newser) - Those shocked by China’s bristly response to Olympic protests and criticisms would do well to remember some history, Orville Schell writes for the New York Review of Books. After what the Chinese call a "century of humiliation" at the hands of the West and Japan, the nation has... More »

China Reopens Tibetan Tourism

Torch relay demonstrated stability, state media says

(Newser) - China is allowing foreign tourists to enter Tibet for the first time since March protests, sources tell the BBC. The Olympic torch’s smooth reception in Lhasa over the weekend means "Tibet is safe,” a Tibetan tourism director tells state media. "We welcome the domestic and foreign... More »

Olympic Torch Arrives in Tibet

Amid heavy security, China slams Dalai Lama

(Newser) - Under tight security, the Olympic torch made its way through Tibet’s capital in the most controversial leg of its worldwide journey—a jaunt that ended with Chinese criticism of the Dalai Lama, Reuters reports. “We will be able to totally smash the splittist schemes of the Dalai Lama... More »

China Orders Muslims to Stay Home for Torch Relay

Beijing blames community for independence attacks

(Newser) - Chinese officials have told China's Muslim Uighur to stay in their homes and watch the Olympic torch on TV when it winds its way through the troubled western region of Xinjiang, Reuters reports. Beijing blames the Uighur for a series of attacks that are part of a push for an... More »

China Orders 3 Days of Mourning, Will Halt Torch

Toll hits 32,500 dead, more missing as search continues

(Newser) - As the death toll in Monday's 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit 32,500, China declared 3 days of national mourning beginning tomorrow, reports Reuters. The Olympic torch relay will pause for the duration. Rescue efforts are still under way in devastated Sichuan province, but hopes are waning of recovering any... More »

Olympic Flame Lit Atop Everest

Display designed to counter protests

(Newser) - Chinese and Tibetan climbers lit an OIympic torch at the top of Mount Everest today, the BBC reports. The climbers unfurled Chinese and Olympic flags and chanted slogans for TV cameras beaming their images live onto the nation's TVs. The Chinese hope the elaborate stunt will counter the damage from... More »

Sky-High Internet Café Opens

Everest office built to ensure communications as Olympic torch passes

(Newser) - The Olympic torch is bringing more than controversy on its round-the-world trek—it’s also responsible for the world’s highest Internet café, the People's Daily reports. China Mobile built the communications center at Mount Everest's 17,000-foot-high base camp to ensure communications for relay teams as the torch scales... More »

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