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Russia's Olympics planning has 'unified the country'

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who carried the Olympic flame in a lantern as part of a ceremony ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, said Russia's Olympics planning had unified the country.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak holds the Olympic flame after landing in Moscow . Credit: Reuters

"Today is a symbolic day for all of us which quite possibly may turn out to become a historic date. After 30 years, Russia is again meeting the Olympic flame which was lit in the homeland of the Olympic Games, in the ancient Olympia", said Kozak.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Russian ice-skaters Lina Fyodorova (L), 16, of Moscow and Maksim Miroshkin (2nd L), 19. Credit: Reuters

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Putin kicks off 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the Olympic flame to the country today in a spectacular ceremony in the capital's Red Square.

President Vladimir Putin kicks off Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics torch relay. Credit: RTV

Putin championed the work of Olympic planners, volunteers and supporters and said: "It is quite logical that Russians love sports so much and appreciate everything that is connected with it.

"Without such active and engaged support by the public, citizens of Russia, it would have been impossible to implement gigantic sports projects. The Sochi Olympics has really become our common dream which is becoming a reality".

'High level' of bad teeth among athletes at London 2012

Some Olympians' teeth were always going to be threatened by their endeavours at London 2012. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Despite the beaming smiles of gold medal winners at London 2012, a study at last year's Games has found "high levels" of bad teeth among competing athletes.

Using data from 278 athletes from 25 sports, researchers found 55% had tooth decay or cavities, 45% had dental erosion and 76% had gingivitis. More than 40% were "bothered" by their oral health.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, concluded: "The oral health of athletes attending the dental clinic of the London 2012 Games was poor with a resulting substantial negative impact on well-being, training and performance."

Fans queue to catch glimpse of Usain Bolt in London

Hundreds of fans have queued in London to catch a glimpse of the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, as he signs copies of his new book 'Faster Than Lightning' in Selfridges.

Six-time Olympic Games gold medallist Usain Bolt recently revealed he will retire after the Rio 2016 Olympics. Credit: Usain Bolt Instagram

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Usain Bolt: Setting goals is the key to my success

Six-time Olympic Games gold medallist Usain Bolt has told ITV News that the key to his success in continually setting goals in life.

At the launch of his new autobiography 'Faster Than Lightning' in London, the world's fastest man said: "If you want to be the best, or you want to strive for more, you've got to set goals in life."

IOC member raises prospect of Games date change

An International Olympic Committee (IOC) member has raised the prospect of a possible change of date to the summer Games so that it could take place in the Middle East.

Qatar's capital Doha has previously bid for the Olympics but temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius in June and July and the IOC has resisted moving the date.

Fireworks go off during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive

Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahad al-Sabah from Kuwait, who is the president of the Olympic Council of Asia, pointed out that the Sydney Olympics in 2000 had been in October and stated there was "always interest" from the Middle East.

He said: "There is always interest in the Middle East before but I didn't hear any new interest. if there is interest it will go through the procedure of the IOC."

In terms of date changes, he added: "We are not in a position to give our opinion on this issue because up until now nobody showed interest to change time. When Australia at that time asked for October we decided to go there in October/November. Until now there is no case to show our opinion."

Sheikh Ahmad's comments come a day after FIFA president Sepp Blatter said awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may have been "a mistake" due to the searing summer heat in the Arab state.

New IOC President announced as Thomas Bach

The new International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach of Germany Credit: Reuters

The new President of the International Olympic Committee has been announced as Thomas Bach of Germany during a ceremony in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bach, 59, becomes the ninth IOC President and succeeds Jacques Rogge who has held the post since 2001.

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