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Glossary of the Olympic torch relay
Olympic flame

The Olympic flame is lit in Greece at Mount Olympus, is transported to the host country of the Games, and with the help of torches and lamps, escorted by the OTR Team, it travels along the OTR Route.


Torch is a reinforced cauldron on a handle with an inflammable mixture. It is a key part of the Olympic Games and the Relay.


Slot is a segment where the torchbearer carries the Olympic flame.


Torchbearer is an individual carrying the Olympic torch at one of the Relay stages.


Lamp is a ceremonial lantern that carries the Olympic flame. During the relay, several lamps are normally used. In the event a torch goes out, its repeat lighting must be from one of the flames of these lamps.

Olympic cauldron

Olympic cauldron is a cauldron of small diameter for lighting and maintaining the Olympic flame during evening celebrations in the town where the relay route is held.


Caravan is a motorcade of vehicles accompanying the torchbearer to protect and promote the passage of the Olympic flame.

Accompanying runner

Accompanying runner is an especially trained member of staff who accompanies the torchbearer and is available to assist the torchbearer should the need arise. The accompanying runner is directly responsible for the protection of the Olympic flame and for the security of the torchbearer.

Greek leg

Greek leg is the route of the relay within Greece, which begins with the lighting of the Olympic flame and ends with the ceremony of its handover to the host country.

Flame handover ceremony

Flame handover ceremony is the ceremony held in Greece during which the Olympic flame is handed over to the representatives of the Organizing Committee of the country

Olympic torch exchange point:

Olympic torch exchange point is the point where one OTR segment ends and the next begins. It is the place at which the Olympic flame is passed from one torchbearer to another.

Sochi 2014 Olympic torch relay
What is the main objective and mission of the Olympic torch relay?

The Sochi 2014 Olympic torch relay unites the country on the eve of the 2014 Games in Sochi and provides the opportunity for every region of the Russian Federation to demonstrate positive stable changes, and for every resident of the country to become part of Olympic history. It is a symbolic cultural event which is close and clear to everyone.

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay mission is: to unite the country - and open up Russia.

What are the objectives for the OTR?

Objectives of the OTR:

to hold an original, nationwide relay that will help create an emotional tie with the 2014 Games and the ideals and values of the Olympic Movement;

to involve as many Russians as possible in the organization and staging of the relay, both as direct participants and as TV viewers;

to demonstrate the positive changes that are taking place in each corner of Russia, right here, right now;

to stir up patriotic feelings among Russians, so that there is as much support as possible for the national team at the Games;

to preserve and strengthen the best traditions of past relays.

Why does Russia need the Olympic Torch Relay? // Is it expedient to spend money on the relay in the current economic situation?

The Olympic torch relay is an integral part of the Games. We have the opportunity to be part of the Olympic Movement, to feel the continuity of generations, and we will do our best to organize events at the highest level.

As for the financial component, the Torch relay is being held with the support of our Presenting PartnersCoca-Cola, Ingosstrakh and Russian Railways, and the support of regional authorities.

Who are the OTR organizers?

The organizer of the torch relay is the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, with the support of Presenting partners: Coca-Cola, Russian Railways and Ingosstrakh.

How much will the torch relay cost?
    • We do not disclose the amount of commercial contracts. The relay is being held with the support of our Presenting PartnersCoca-Cola, Ingosstrakh and Russian Railways, and technical partners.

The Torch Relay meeting in the regions will be arranged by the regions themselves.

What rights do partners of the relay have?

Each partner is planning entertainment activities before and during the torch relay route

Also, each partner has the right to:

organize a show program for the evening celebrations in the cities;

distribute their products and advertising souvenirs in the territory of the final celebration and along the relay route;

conduct advertising and PR activity along the relay route in places defined by the Partners;

provide services and products for organization of the relay,

At the same time, the Organizing Committee ensures that the partners observe rights.

How did the figure 90% coverage of the relay in Russia come about?

The route has been especially routed so that 90% of Russia's inhabitants live within one hour of the route of the Olympic flame. Hence the figure of 90% coverage of the relay.

In which Russian region will the torch relay be in most, and in which will it be least?

The route was created so that the Torch Relay is held in every region of the Russian Federation. We took into account the number of inhabitants, natural features and logistics. As a result, 90% of Russian citizens will be in the area of a one hour journey from the flame, and because of that we can really ensure that every Russian feels part of the Olympic project.

What is the length of previous torch relays?

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay is going to be the longest national relay in the history of the Winter Games. For comparison: before Vancouver 2010, the Olympic torch covered 45,000 km, and Turin 2006 - 11,300 km.

How is the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay unique, and what makes it different from previous Games relays?

The Olympic Torch Relay will be the longest national relay by time and the longest by distance in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. The route will cover over 65,000 km, i.e. one and a half times as long as the Earth's equator!

How many towns will the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay include?

The Olympic Torch will visit 128 towns in in Russia and all 83 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. In total, the relay will pass through more than 2,900 towns and settlements from Moscow to Sochi.

How were the towns chosen?

The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, the Government of the Russian Federation and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation proposed their candidate towns which could host the torch relay. Of them, the optimum route was formed, which will demonstrate the richness and diversity of our country and will allow 90% of the people of Russia to see the Olympic flame.

How many days will the relay go on for and when will it finish?

The Olympic flame arrived in Moscow from Athens on October 6, 2013. And on October 8, 2013 the relay began its route around Russia.

The relay will last 123 days and will finish on February 7, 2014 at the "Fisht" Olympic Stadium in Sochi.

The route will cover over 65,000 km, i.e. one and a half times as long as the Earth's equator!

How to become a torchbearer
How many Olympic torchbearers will there be? How will they be selected?

The Olympic torch relay will be attended by 14,000 torchbearers and 30,000 volunteers.

On January 15, a campaign for the selection of torchbearers was launched.

Presenting Partners of the Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola, Ingosstrakh and Russian Railways, the administrations of all 83 constituent entities of the Russian Federation and the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee participated in the selection of torchbearers.

On 15 January, Coca-Cola launched its own campaign for the nomination torchbearers.

Russian Railways selected torchbearers in February.

OSAO "Ingosstrakh" - in March.

All the details can be found on our website: www.torchrelay.sochi2014.com

All torchbearer candidates for the Olympic Torch Relay (including candidates from the Presenting Partners and constituent entities of the Russian Federation) were approved by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee

How was it possible to become a torchbearer?

Only Presenting Partners of the Relay had the right to open public nominations: Coca-Cola, OSAO "Ingosstrakh" and Russian Railways.

For this campaign, anybody promoting his or her candidacy (and/or the candidacy of another person) for torchbearer had to substantiate in written form that he or she was deserving of becoming one.

Applications were submitted on the official sites of the Partners.

Will there be any difference on the sites of the Sochi 2014 Partner companies, Coca-Cola and Ingosstrakh, or it will a unified system?

The systems are different. Campaign participants for the selection of torchbearers have only exchanged general information on the candidates in order to avoid duplication.

Who can become a torchbearer?

Every citizen of the Russian Federation, as well as foreign citizens, had the chance to become a torchbearer. The only condition was that they are over 14 years old.

For teenagers under 18, permission from their parents or guardians was required.

Torchbearers could be proposed by the individual or by other citizens.

Only one application could be submitted: duplicates were deselected automatically.

If you are applying from a region, running will only be in this particular region. The same goes for the torchbearers from Presenting Partners.

What criteria will be used to select torchbearers? Are there restrictions?

There are no special requirements or restrictions, other than the age up to 14.

However, the future torchbearer should be committed to a healthy lifestyle and sports the main Olympic values: friendship, respect and commitment to excellence

Torchbearer candidates can be people deserving the right through their work:

- winners and prize-winners of sports competitions

- leading coaches, sports veterans

- Olympic champions

- people who are actively involved in sport who are health-conscious

- labor veterans

- best physical education teacher winners, best coaches, best sport doctors, etc.

- people who have committed heroic acts and served their country and region

- people who have made a significant contribution to the good of society

- volunteers

- philanthropists regularly supporting sport, social and children's organizations

- media representatives who have made the greatest contributions to the promotion of physical education, sport and coverage of the sporting life of the region and country

- students in secondary schools, winners of class Olympiads

- emergency response staff distinguished in the line of duty (ambulance, Ministry of Emergencies, the fire service)

It should be noted that people with disabilities could also become Olympic Flame Torchbearers. In order to become a torchbearer, there are no specific physical, occupational or age restrictions and requirements. A barrier-free environment will be created at the running stage for torchbearers with disabilities.

Can torchbearers who are citizens of foreign countries take part in the competition?

Yes, they could. Limitations and criteria were the same for all.

How will torchbearers be selected by the Russian regions?

According to the International Olympic Committee rules, constituent entities of the country where the Olympic Torch Relay will be held do not have the right to hold an open competition.

Special working groups established in 83 constituent entities of Russia will determine the torchbearer nominees on the basis of recommendations of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee and present them to the Organizing Committee for final approval. The regions will have to justify their selection.

All regions included in the lists of torchbearer candidates outstanding athletes, winners of various Olympics, honored citizens of towns of the Russian Federation constituent entity, the best teachers and those who have made significant contributions to the development of the region, its social life, nature conservation or made an achievement and actively helped local residents.

The Organizing Committee reviews each candidate individually and makes a decision that will be announced in late May 2013.

In this case, the Organizing Committee could reject any nominee or even the whole list if it did not meet requirements, and send it back for revision.

Who will the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee select?

The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has invited candidates to become torchbearers who are Olympic champions, cultural workers, and representatives of international sports organizations, including the International Olympic Committee. Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee ambassadors, people who are creating barrier-free environments in the regions of Russia, as well as employees of the companies actively participating in the preparation and staging of the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014 and Olympic Torch Relay have become torchbearer candidates too.

Will all regions have the same quota?/ Why is the number of torchbearers in each region different?
  • The number of torchbearers in each Russian region will be directly proportional to the population of the specific Russian constituent entity.

When planning the relay course, we took into account the characteristics of each route in the regions, complicated logistics, natural features and security.

Who should the regions select? Only people associated with sport?

In selecting torchbearers, each region had a unique chance to show its citizens who make up their pride and glory to the world and all of Russia. These may be famous athletes, scientists, writers, artists, schoolteachers, and people with any other professions. Therefore, all of Russia will be represented among the 14,000 torchbearers: multifaceted and rich in human talent.

Who will not be allowed to become a torchbearer? Or are there no limitations apart from age?

In the selection of torchbearers, people will not be allowed who have been prohibited from taking part in the Olympic Games, or those found guilty of doping. Candidates' criminal histories will also be checked.

Will celebrities take part in the competition?
  • We do not exclude this possibility, as there are many examples in the past Relays.

In the end, every citizen of the Russian Federation who can participate in the Relay will be a celebrity.

Is this competition for the future torchbearers of both the Olympic and the Paralympic relays?

No. Currently, only the torchbearer nomination campaign for the Olympic Torch Relay has been launched. The nomination campaign for the Paralympic Torch Relay will be announced later.

What distance will the torchbearer run?

Up to 300 meters. This distance can be achieved by people with the most varied of abilities.

Will the torchbearers only walk/run or can they move in other ways?

The Olympic Torch Relay will involve a large number of original vehicles. The torch flame will fly by plane, travel by train and car, and sail on boats... There will be many surprises and discoveries for you! All modes of transportation and movement of the Olympic and Paralympic Torch will be duly announced.

Was there any idea to include republics of the former Soviet Union in the Torch Relay?

According to an IOC decision, since the Vancouver Games, the Relay is only carried out within the host country of the Games.For this reason, the idea to include the former Soviet Union in the route of the Relay was not considered.

Can the torchbearers keep the torch?

Yes, they can. The procedure for transfer of the torch will be announced later.