Sochi 2014 Olympic Flame continues Russian journey after being lit at North Pole for first time

Friday, 25 October 2013
By Nick Butler

The Sochi 2014 Flame is lit at the North PoleOctober 25 - A gruelling marathon journey from Murmansk has ended with the Sochi 2014 Olympic Flame being lit in the North Pole for the first time. 

Travelling on board the world's largest ice-breaker "50 Years of Victory" the Torch took a record-breaking 91 hours and 12 minutes to cover the 5,000 miles trip before arriving at the world's northernmost point.

Because the Flame can only be lit in one place at one time, the Relay at the North Pole took place overnight so as not to interfere with the main Torch Relay happening elsewhere in Russia.

Once the Ceremony in had been completed elsewhere, the Torch was lit on board the icebreaker by the ship's captain Velentin Davydyants.

The Torch is carried close to the icebreaker which made the journey to the North PoleThe Torch is carried close to the icebreaker after successfully completing the 5,000 mile journey to the North Pole


The Flame was then lit by 11 torchbearers who have all made significant contributions to the studying of the Arctic and the conservation of its natural resources, animals and ecology.

These bearers consisted of participants from Finland, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Sweden, Denmark and the United States, as well as Russia.

Surrounded by all the other Torchbearers holding the flags of their countries at the point where all the world's time zones meet, the Torch was then lit by the famed 74-year-old Russian explorer Artur Chilingarov.

The Olympic expedition participants gathered in a round dance to make the smallest possible trip around the world before the Ceremony ended with a 3D laser show.

Explorer Artur Chilingarov lights the Flame at the North PoleExplorer Artur Chilingarov lights the Sochi 2014 Olympic Flame at the North Pole in front of fellow Torchbearers carrying their national flags


Meanwhile the main procession of the Relay continued its journey through the Vladimir region and traveled through through the towns of Sakhalin, Vladimir, Murom,

It then passed the ancient city of Kostroma where 70 citizens in total participated, ranging from the 1972 Olympic gold medal winning cross country skier Alevtina Olyunina, to business leaders, competition winners and ordinary citizens.

After passing through Yarslovl and Vologda the Flame then continued its journey south and has since visited Petrozavodsk, Olonets and the village of Pryazha where it was transported in a dog sled.

There was one unfortunate incident in Kostrama when there were reports that a girl was unintentionally burnt by the Flame after carrying the Torch.

These reports went unconfirmed and were denied by Dmitry Chernysenko, President and chief executive of Sochi 2014.

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