The misadventures of the Olympic flame during torch relays
The Olympic flame has been lit for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games in the ancient temple of Hera, Athens on Tuesday, and will now embark on its mammoth relay. RT takes a look at some of its most memorable misadventures from years gone by.
Greek cross-country skier Apostolos Angelis was the first athlete to carry the torch, which was then handed to Korean soccer icon Park Ji-Sung.
The torch relay will cover eight major cities and nine provinces of South Korea before ending up in PyeongChang, where the Olympic cauldron will be lit on February 9.
However, the journey could be laden with bloopers as previous relays have proved to be.
South Korea’s previous staging of the Olympics, the 1988 Seoul Summer Games, was arguably the most calamitous in Olympic history.
The opening ceremony organizers had decided to release a flock of doves into the sky as a symbol of peace and prosperity.
However, when several doves refused to fly out of the stadium as planned and instead sat on the edge of the Olympic cauldron, being burned alive in front of millions of spectators.
The 2014 torch relay in Sochi saw the flame go out on its way to the Kremlin. Prominent Soviet swimmer, Shavarsh Karapetyan, who was carrying the torch was forced to stop the race after noticing the flame had disappeared.
The relay was resumed only after a man standing nearby re-lit the flame with a lighter.
The organizers of the 2012 London Olympics also failed to avoid several hiccups during the torch relay.
At first the relay was delayed after two motorcycles collided next to the Olympic convoy, and a subsequent hold-up was caused by an incident that occurred at the canoe slalom venue, when water extinguished the flame while the torch was being carried on a rafting boat.
In 2016 a protester, who was later arrested, attacked the torch bearer in Brazil in an attempt to put the flame out with a fire extinguisher.