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Russian Olympic torchbearer catches fire during relay

A Russian torchbearer's clothing caught fire as he carried it through a Siberian city in the latest mishap to befall the Olympic flame.

A clip posted on YouTube by the Russian site Lifenews shows former Olympic bobsledder Pyotr Makarchuk parading the torch through a crowd in the city of Abakan when flames suddenly leap from the left shoulder and upper arm of his jacket.

Escorts immediately put out the flames and Makarchuk was not injured, said Roman Osin, spokesman for the Russian Sochi 2014 torch relay.

He said the flames were caused by drops of liquid gas that fell on Makarchuk's jacket in the incident yesterday.

The Olympic flame has been to the North Pole and the International Space Station on its 40,000-mile journey to Sochi.

However, it has gone out dozens of times, including minutes after President Vladimir Putin handed it over in Red Square last month.

Olympic lighting ceremony takes place for Sochi 2014

The Olympic flame has been lit in Olympia, Greece today ahead of the 123-day long torch relay before reaching its final destination for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games.

Greek actress Ino Menegaki played the role of High Priestess, as she did for the London 2012 Games lighting ceremony, at the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia.

After touring Greece, the flame will arrive in Moscow ahead of the longest torch relay for any Winter Games.

Greek actress Ino Menegaki plays the role of the High Priestess during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games lighting ceremony. Credit: REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis
The Olympic flame is raised at the site of Ancient Olympia in Greece. Credit: REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis
The torch is lit using the sun's rays reflected in a parabolic mirror. Credit: REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

Throughout its journey across Russia, the flame will be carried by more than 14,000 torch-bearers across more than 65,000km - including a visit to the International Space Station where it will be taken on a spacewalk.


Olympic Cauldron relit following relocation across stadium

The Olympic Cauldron Credit: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The Olympic Cauldron has been relit following its relocation to the south end of the stadium to make way for the athletics events.

The Cauldron, made up of 204 steel pipes and individually designed copper petals inscribed with the competing nation’s names, will be within eyesight of competing athletes.

During its 80-hour relocation, the Olympic flame was transferred to a special miners lantern. This morning, Olympic Torchbearer Austin Playfoot relit the Cauldron from the lantern in a small ceremony.

Olympic flame completes Gloriana journey down Thames

The Olympic flame has arrived at London Bridge. Credit: Press Association

The sun shone for the Olympic flame today as it completed its journey on the Gloriana on the final leg of its 70-day, 8,000-mile journey around the United Kingdom ahead of tonight's opening ceremony.

The royal rowbarge led a flotilla of more than 50 boats down the Thames. Flotilla organiser Malcolm Knight declared "mission accomplished" on his loudspeaker as the boats arrive at Tower Bridge. He said:

"It was marvellous, absolutely marvellous. The whole thing went fantastically, there were boats everywhere and the banks were lined with thousands of people.[...] It's a great way to bring the flame into central London, using the highway of London."


'Over 14 million people went to see Olympic flame'

The Olympic Cabinet Committee have reported today that the Olympic opening ceremony will be one of the "biggest diplomatic events" ever in the UK. Discussing the final preparations for the Games, the Committee concluded:

  • Approximately 14.3 million people have lined the streets to see the Olympic Flame. The Flame today travels on the River Thames between Hampton Court and London Bridge.
  • 24,657 Games Family members have now arrived in the UK (including just over 7,000 athletes).
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