The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia are roughly four months away, and the Olympic torch has to travel over 40,000 miles on its journey, not including a quick jaunt up to space, before the opening ceremony on February 7. That quest began Sunday morning in Greece.
Olympic brass, athletes, actresses dressed like ancient priestesses and onlookers all gathered for the torch lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia, Greece. A theatrical prelude to the opening ceremony kicked off an impressive journey for the torch that will see it travel all across Russia before the games begin, the Associated Press explains:
The Russian leg of the torch relay is set to cover more than 40,000 miles before the Winter Games, carrying the torch by hot-air balloon, dog sled and a nuclear-powered ice breaker before its scheduled trip to space on Nov. 7.
The sun's rays were harnessed using a parabolic mirror to light the torch. This doesn't seem safe, but we're not fire experts, and the ceremony went off without a hitch:
The first athlete to carry the torch was 18-year-old Greek skier Ioannis Antoniou, who then handed it off to Russian hockey superstar, Alexander Ovechkin. In turn, Ovechkin became the happiest man alive:
Too bad his dreams will be crushed on the ice when Canada wallops the Russian squad.