Flame goes out in Moscow's Olympic torch relay

  • AFP, Moscow
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 06, 2013 21:57 IST

Russia's Olympic torch relay got off to a rocky start on Sunday when the flame briefly went out on one of the torchbearers just as he was passing through a Kremlin gate.

The Olympic torch arrived in Moscow from Athens on Sunday ahead of the Winter Games in February in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Russian President Vladimir Putin oversaw a ceremony during which the Greek flame was used to light a couldron set up on a temporary basis on the Kremlin's Red Square.

That flame was then used to light the first torch in a brief relay ceremony around the Kremlin that was broadcast live on national television.

Things went wrong when the flame passed to the second torchbearer -- Soviet-era underwater swimming champion Shavarsh Karapetyan.

The 60-year-old had just run past one of the Kremlin gates when he noticed that the flame of his silver-and-red torch had gone out.

He began gesturing for help while continuing to run with the unlit torch in his right hand.

An official in a black coat walked up to Karapetyan moments later and relit the torch with a simple cigarette lighter.

The original Greek flame remained lit in the Red Square couldron the entire time.

The national torch relay will kick off on Monday and conclude when the cauldron is lit at Sochi's brand new Fisht Olympic Stadium at the Games' opening ceremony on February 7.


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