The Amazing (Mis)Adventures of the Olympic Torch, Past and Present
The iconic torch has a life of its own. The Sochi model even went to space.
The Sochi Olympic torch song—the traditional relay of the Olympic flame from Greece, site of the original games, to this year's venue in Russia—hit a few flat notes along the way.
The torch suffered multiple flame-outs, including one en route to the Kremlin ("I wouldn't devote any special attention to what happened," a Russian official on the organizing committee commented). A torchbearer accidentally set himself on fire (he wasn't injured). And a 73-year-old man died of a heart attack shortly after doing his leg of the relay.
In the course of its chest-thumping 40,000-mile journey, the torch was plunged to the bottom of the world's deepest lake, Siberia's Lake Baikal; ferried to the North Pole by a nuclear-powered icebreaker; carted up