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Sochi 2014 Torch Relay Will Be Longest Ever for Winter Games

By: CNN
By: CNN

The Olympic torch is on the move in Russia.

Sochi Olympics Logo 2014 Winter Games

The Olympic torch is on the move in Russia.

Over the next four months it will travel some 65-thousand kilometers on its way to Sochi.

It's the longest relay ever in the winter games.

The torch will also be the first to go in space -- though it won't be lit when it heads to the International Space Station.

The Olympic spirit has returned to Russia.

The flame's journey across this massive country started in red square, past Saint Basil's cathedral and the red walls of the Kremlin.

From here it will travel 65 thousand kilometers, crossing nine time zones between Russia's eastern and western borders.

This man says it feels patriotic and unforgettable to see the flame.
It's been a long time since the Olympic flame was last in the Russian capital.

That was for the 1980 Moscow games.

Dozens of countries boycotted the event because of the soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

33 years later, some people have been calling for boycotts again because of scenes like this.

Planning and building in Sochi has been immense.

This city by the black sea was a rundown, Soviet era summer resort destination with no winter sports facilities.

It's getting a total makeover.

Cost estimates now exceed 50 billion dollars.

The weather could also be a challenge.

Even in the mountains, Sochi isn't always cold in winter and snowfall can be patchy.

That's why organizers have spent big on hi tech snow making gear and storing huge mounds of last season's snow through the summer.
Those are the potential problems..

But the flame's arrival marks the start of a campaign to build and spread Olympic excitement here.

The relay even includes a cosmic side trip.

One of the torches, without a flame, will be carried aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket to the international space station.

There's already been an embarrassing flame-out.

A strong Moscow wind was too much for this runner's torch.

Someone with a quick mind and a cigarette lighter stepped in.

Officials say the real Olympic flame, lit by the sun in Greece, is safe in special lamps and will be used for the rest of the relay.


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