The Winter Olympics flame for Sochi 2014 was lit in Greece’s Temple of Hera, in ancient Olympia on Sunday.
An actress playing the high priestess lit the torch as the sun’s rays bounced off a concave mirror at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, a ritual first established at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
It marks the start of the longest torch relay for any Winter Games so far.
Sochi, by the Black Sea, will be the first Russian city to stage a Winter Olympics when it receives the flame on October 5.
It then embarks on a 123-day voyage, traveling to outer space, the bottom of Lake Baikal, the North Pole and Europe’s highest peak in the mammoth run across the vast country, carried by a record 14,000 torch-bearers, before finishing at the opening ceremony on February 7 next year.
IOC President Thomas Bach said during the ceremony: “The Olympic message sees the global diversity of cultures, societies and life choices as a sort of enrichment. It accuses no one and it excludes no one. The Olympic torch relay will be a messenger for the Olympic values of excellent friendship and respect without any form of discrimination. And now, as our Russian friends say ‘Poekhali’…‘Let’s go!’.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin is keen to put on a show to highlight the country’s progress since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
But the event has also been overshadowed by criticism of Russia’s new anti-gay propaganda laws, which many view as repressive.
- 1Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin | euronews, world news
- 2Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation
- 3euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 4Nepal: ‘equally big earthquakes coming in eastern regions,’ expert tells euronews | euronews, world news
- 5It’s a girl: Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge gives birth in London | euronews, world news
- 6How Nepal earthquake devastated Kathmandu’s UNESCO heritage | euronews, world news
- 7Chernobyl Children: what makes Ukrainians born in 1986 different? | euronews, world news
- 8Juncker to Hungarian PM Orban: “Hello, Dictator!”
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10Exclusive: unrest in FYR Macedonia could hit other Balkan countries warns Serbian PM | euronews, world news
- 11Evidence of ancient wine found in Georgia a vintage quaffed some 6,000 years BC
- 12Andrea Ferrari: the graphene guru | euronews, science
- 13International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 14Portuguese language reform law goes global | euronews, world news
- 15EU membership remains Serbia’s priority, says PM Aleksandar Vucic | euronews, the global conversation
- 16Watch: France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen clashes with UKIP MEP Woolfe | euronews, world news
- 17Spain: the viral soldiers fighting in Madrid and Barcelona mayoral races | euronews, world news
- 18How young translators are helping knit European culture together | euronews, generation y
- 19eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 20We will not be moved! China’s urban spread resistance [PHOTOS]
Wires > News
- 04:41 CET China clamps down on 181 “terror gangs” in west
- 00:35 CET Polish president concedes election defeat to conservative…
- 00:24 CET Indonesia’s military creeps back into civilian affairs
- 23:20 CET Libyan government warplanes attack oil tanker docked at Sirte
- 21:11 CET Greece hasn’t got the money to make June IMF repayment – interior…
- 20:54 CET Syria says Islamic State kills hundreds, including children, in…
- 20:27 CET John Nash, mathematician who inspired ‘A Beautiful Mind’, killed…
- 18:50 CET Ex-advisor to Peruvian president disappears in Bolivia