The Olympic flame -- which was lit last week in Greece in preparation for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia -- arrived in Moscow today for the start of its 4-month, 39,000-mile relay journey across that country.
It received a hero's welcome: according to BuzzFeed, the flame had its own seat on the airplane, then was carried by a deputy prime minister onto the tarmac where dozens of uniformed military members greeted it. It was then brought from the airport to central Moscow by an elaborate motorcade.
President Vladimir Putin strode out to meet the flame in Red Square, where he lit a cauldron and spoke triumphantly. "[The] Olympic flame -- symbol of the most important sports competition of this planet, symbol of peace and friendship -- has arrived in Russia," he said. At the conclusion of his remarks, Putin proclaimed, "Til we meet in Sochi."
Then, as the flame took a ceremonial loop through the Kremlin, things took an embarrassing turn: one of the torches went out.