POSTED: September 29th 2013

Sochi 2014 Olympic Flame is lit with IOC President Bach and Ovechkin

Newly elected IOC President Thomas Bach (2nd right) and his wife Claudia / IOC
Newly elected IOC President Thomas Bach (2nd right) and his wife Claudia / IOC

Russian Hockey star Alexander Ovechkin at the Torch Relay / IOC
Russian Hockey star Alexander Ovechkin at the Torch Relay / IOC

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Sochi 2014 Olympic Games Ambassador and Russian international ice hockey player Alexander Ovechkin will be the second person to carry the Olympic flame in the Olympic Torch Relay after it is lit in the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony in Olympia, Greece, 29 Sept. 2013.

The lighting of the Olympic flame is a reminder of the heroism of Prometheus, who stole the symbol of life from the gods and gave it to the people. A theatrical performance in the ruins of the ancient Temple of Hera will portray priestesses asking the Gods to light the flame.

“Thanks to Sochi 2014 and Coca-Cola I am entrusted to carry the Olympic flame,” Ovechkin said. “It is especially honourable for me to be the first Torchbearer of Russia. I’m very happy, and it means a lot to me. I am proud to be at the Lighting Ceremony in Olympia, which will start the biggest national Relay in Olympic history.”

Like a symbol of approval from the Gods, the Olympic flame was lit by sun’s rays, which were reflected on a parabolic mirror.

Greek alpine skier Giannis Antoniou received an olive branch signifying peace and the torch as the first Relay torchbearer, who then passed it to Ovechkin. A total of 250 torchbearers will bring the flame to 33 towns and 25 regions of Greece in just a week. Olympic gymnastics champion Ioannis Melissanidis, Olympic silver high jump medalist Niki Bakogianni and Olympic bronze pole vault medal winner Georgios Roubanis will also help carry the flame across its 2,000-kilometre Greek Relay leg.

The Greek leg will end 5 Oct. in Athens’ Panathenaikos stadium, which hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The flame will be handed over to the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee by Greek figure skater Panagiotis, after which it will travel to Moscow.

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay is presented by Coca-Cola, OSAO Ingosstrakh and OAO Russian Railways.

“The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay is a symbol of the spirit and values that motivate the Olympic Movement,” new International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said. “As the flame makes its way across the Russian Federation in the hands of 14,000 torchbearers, it will convey a message of peace and the Olympic values to the people of Russia and to the watching world. However, the arrival of the flame in Sochi, on 7 February next year, will not be the end of the story but merely the beginning, as the world’s best winter athletes continue to inspire the world through their actions and spirit during the Games. We wish the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay great success on its journey.”

“The torch lightning ceremony in Greece will be the starting point of Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay p the largest national Torch Relay in Olympic history,” Sochi 2014 Organising Committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko said. “It will cover more than 65,000 kilometres and unite the country.”

Keywords · Sochi 2014 · Alexander Ovechkin · Russia · Olympics · International Olympic Committee · Coca-Cola · Olympic Torch Relay · Olympic Flame · Olympia · Greece ·

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