6 October 2013, 15:16

The solemn ceremony of the torch homecoming has been staged at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport greeting the Athens flight that touched down in the Russian capital.

Moscow greets 2014 Sochi Olympic Torch. Live Updates

The Olympic Torch will be driven to Red Square to kindle the flame in the Olympic Cup at 5 p.m. local time (1300 GMT).

Afterwards, a dozen of torch-bearers will carry the flame around the Kremline ahead of the official leg of the Russian relay that will start tomorrow at Vasilyevsky Spusk Square.

Plane carrying Olympic flame lands in Moscow

The Olympic flame for the Sochi 2014 Winter Games touched down in Moscow on Sunday after traveling from Greece, where it was lit.

The flame was held in two special containers in a seat on a chartered Aeroflot flight from Athens that landed at the city's Vnukovo International Airport.

It was received by a guard of honor on the tarmac before a ceremony near the terminal building.

President Vladimir Putin's Olympic supervisor Dmitry Kozak carried the flame, now encased in a single small lantern, onto a red carpet beside the Airbus A-321, where a military band played the Russian national anthem.

"Today for all of us this is a very important event, a quite historic event. After three decades, Russia welcomes the Olympic flame again," Kozak said, in reference to the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow.

"We've earned it thanks to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of people. ... We can be proud of this," added Kozak, also a deputy prime minister. From the airport, the flame will be transported to Red Square in central Moscow in a bikers' convoy.

"This will be the greatest torch relay from Kaliningrad to Chukotka, close to Alaska. Millions of Russians will be witness to this great event," Kozak said.

Chief organizer Dmitry Chernyshenko stressed how proud the country was to receive the flame and reeled off a list of statistics proving it was the biggest in history.

The flame was kindled in a traditional ceremony in Ancient Olympia last Sunday and toured Greece before arriving in the Russian capital for the longest torch relay in history, a 123-day, 56,000-kilometer marathon across nine time zones.

Organizers claim the flame will be within one hour's travel of 90 percent of the Russian population during the relay, which will officially begin on Monday.

Later Sunday there will be a mini-relay within the Kremlin in the presence of Putin.

The February 7-23 event will mark the first time that Russia has ever hosted the Winter Games. Moscow hosted the 1980 Summer Games when it was still a part of the Soviet Union.

Follow the updates of event here.

Olympic flame takes off at Athens airport, en route to Moscow

A plane with the 2014 Sochi Olympic torch onboard has taken off at the Athens international airport. It is expected to make its first landing in the host country of the upcoming Winter Olympics later today.

The Olympic-themed Airbus A320 has taken off at the Eleftherios Venizelos airfield in Athens, Greece. The SU 7101 flight is due to land in the Russian capital of Moscow at 2:15 local time (0815 GMT).

The torch will fly in style at the back row of the passenger plane, after it was handed over to Russia’s Olympic delegates during a Saturday ceremony at a huge marble stadium of Panathinaikos.

The torch will be flown to the Vnukovo airport in Moscow, from whence it is to embark on the first leg of its journey through Russia starting in Red Square. It will be driven to Moscow’s landmark site by a biker motorcade.

Olympic Fire starts its journey around Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin will start Torch Relay on the Red Square in Russia. 123 days are left until the start of the Sochi Olympics.

"We all know how important it is to believe and to go towards your dream. In 2007, the International Olympic Committee supported the Olympic dream for millions of Russian citizens. We will do everything to hold Games that fully justify trust and bring the world sport to a new better level "- Vladimir Putin said.

The Head of State is convinced that the Games in Sochi will be organized and carried out brilliantly. Putin personally controls the "Olympic project" since 2006, since the time when Russia only began to prepare application to host the Games, he flew to Guatemala to convince the IOC to choose Sochi, and since 2007 he regularly checks on the process of building the Olympic facilities.

Another inspection took place in September, when the president demanded not only to hold the Olympic torch relay throughout the country, but also to establish regional distribution of tickets to the Games, so that more Russians would be able to come to cheer for their teams in Sochi. Olympic relay will pass through all the 83 regions of the country and visit 130 cities.

The length of its route will be more than 65,000 kilometers. "In four months 14,000 torchbearers and about 30,000 volunteers will take part in the relay. More than 130 million people will be in the zone of hour availability of its route ", Kremlin stated.

Earlier, the president of the organizing committee "Sochi-2014" Dmitry Chernyshenko mentioned that the relay will be the largest national relay race in history of the Olympic movement. " The fire will be delivered by torchbearers who will be running, riding on Russian troika, with the use of dog harness, deer, snowmobiling, with hot-air balloon, plane, train", he said.

Relay will end on 7 th of February 2014 at the Olympic stadium "Fischt" in Sochi, which will host the opening ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games.

Fire of XXII Olympic Winter Games 2014 will be delivered to Moscow

Lamps with Fire of XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014 will be delivered from Athens to Moscow on Sunday, after which the capital will begin mass celebration of the start of the most ambitious Olympic flame relay in history.

After the official meeting of the delegation at the airport "Vnukovo-3" convoy of motorcyclists will escort Fire to the Red Square. Delegation that consists of more than 200 bikers with their head Alexander Zaldostanov will sing the national anthem along with the Academic Song and Dance Ensemble of the Russian Army named by Alexandrov.

The start of celebrations of the arrival of the Game symbol is scheduled to begin at 4pm, and at 4.45pm the lighting of the Olympic Flame Cup will take place, then torchbearers will carry the flame through the territory of the Moscow Kremlin. Among the participants of this part of the program are the young skaters Lina Fedorova and Maxim Miroshkin, four-time Paralympic champion Alexei Ashapatov, pianist prodigy Daniel Kharitonov, prima ballerina Diana Vishneva, a 17-time world champion in diving Shavarsh Karapetyan, a former Russian national team bobsledder Irina Skvortsova, a hero of the Soviet Union, World War II veteran Boris Rounov, noted for courageous act 14-year-old Olesia Pokrovskaya, who saved a person on the water, and other honored members of public.

Voice of Russia, RIA, AFP, TASS, R-Sport, Interfax

 

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