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 »

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 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 »

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 »

Torch Embarks on Calmer China Tour

Citizens vow not to protest as stars carry flame

(Newser) - The Olympic torch flickered in mainland China today in what will likely be a respite from its troubled worldwide tour. Security measures are in place for the relay, but Chinese citizens aren't in a protesting mood, the AP reports. “Even if no police were here, we would protect the... More »

Torch Gets Huge Welcome in Hong Kong

But cheers drown out protests in first Chinese leg of relay

(Newser) - Thousands of people waving the Chinese flag cheered the Olympic torch on its relay through Hong Kong, shouting down scattered Tibetan protesters in their midst, the BBC reports. There were a few scuffles as the torch wound its way through the streets in the first leg of the torch relay... More »

Mia Farrow Quizzed at Hong Kong Airport

Activist granted entry ahead of tomorrow's Olympic relay

(Newser) - Activist actress Mia Farrow was allowed into Hong Kong today after authorities questioned her and told her not to disrupt tomorrow's Olympic torch relay, AP reports. Farrow is an outspoken critic of China's policy on Darfur and plans a speech tomorrow night on the issue. Several activists have been barred... More »

Torch Back in China After Tumultuous Tour

No protests, but advocates deported and barred ahead of Friday's Hong Kong relay

(Newser) - There were no protests in Hong Kong today as the Olympic torch returned to Chinese soil. But reports were rampant of advocates and would-be protesters being deported or barred from entering the country, the New York Times reports. China says it’s dedicated to allowing peaceful demonstrations, but yesterday deported... More »

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