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A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter relay on October 25, 2013 and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, shows torchbearers carrying an Olympic torch to the Elbrus Mount in Russia's North Caucasus region. (AFP Photo)
A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter relay on October 25, 2013 and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, shows torchbearers carrying an Olympic torch to the Elbrus Mount in Russia's North Caucasus region. (AFP Photo)

February 3, 2014

'Play Russian! Play Hard!' Most daredevil images of the Sochi Olympic torch relay

Using the most unusual types of transportation, from reindeer sleighs to nuclear-powered icebreakers and space rockets, the Sochi Olympic torch travelled through Russia with torchbearers experiencing many once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Among the most notable events during the relay, Olympic torchbearers even climbed the highest peak of Europe - Mount Elbrus.

A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter relay on October 25, 2013 and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, shows torchbearers carrying an Olympic torch at the Elbrus Mount in Russia's North Caucasus region. (AFP Photo)

Having conquered the 5,642 meter height, the torch took a dive in the deepest freshwater lake in the world – Lake Baikal.

A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay on November 23, 2013, and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee shows diving torchbearers carrying the flame in Lake Baikal, the world's deepest body of fresh water. (AFP Photo)

From boat to shore the torch was taken by the daredevil Mikhail Chuyev on a jet pack – a scene one might expect out of a James Bond movie.

Still, even taking the flame underwater wasn’t the biggest challenge.

Mikhail Chuyev on the jet pack (SOCHI 2014 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE)

Organizers ultimately decided to send the torch into outer space. Not only did the Olympic symbol visit the International Space Station, but it was taken out for a spacewalk.

Russian astronaut Oleg Kotov holds an Olympic torch as he takes it on a spacewalk as Russian astronaut Sergei Ryazansky gives instructions outside the International Space Station in this still image taken from video courtesy of NASA TV, November 9, 2013. (Reuters)

A space ship wasn’t the only high-tech transport used to carry the flame. A nuclear-powered icebreaker, the 50 Let Pobedy (50 Years of the Victory), smashed through Arctic ice to carry the torch to the North Pole- the first ever journey in the history of the Olympic torch relay to the top of the world.

A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on October 25, 2013, shows a torchbearer carrying his torch with Olympic flame as he walks past the "50 Years of Victory" Russian icebreaker, during the Olympic flame's trip to the North Pole. (AFP Photo / SOCHI 2014 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE)

 A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on October 25, 2013, shows Arctic explorer Artur Chilingarov (C) lighting the Olympic flame at the North Pole. (AFP Photo)

Speaking of the North Pole, Christmas reindeer may come to mind. Near the Siberian city of Yakutsk, the Olympic torch was taken for a ride in a reindeer sleigh.

A torchbearer riding atop a deer sleigh, near Yakutsk, the capital of Sakha (Yakutia) Republic (SOCHI 2014 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE)

Many people associate Russia with freezing temperatures and a lot of snow. Few would expect camels as means of transportation during the Russian relay, however. Torchbearers riding camels in the Russian Caspian Sea port of Astrakhan took many by surprise.

A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay on January 26, 2014, and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee shows a torchbearer riding a camel in the Russian Caspian Sea port of Astrakhan. (AFP Photo)

Torchbearers skied, ice skated, snowboarded and even rode a zipline in the relay from the capital Moscow to the southern resort city Sochi.

A torchbearer skiing with an Olympic torch in Saransk, the capital of Russia's republic of Mordovia, 514 km (320 miles) east of Moscow. (SOCHI 2014 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE)

A torchbearer moving on a wire with an Olympic torch in Russia's Siberian city of Tyumen (SOCHI 2014 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE)

There was no stopping the athletes from taking part in a once in a lifetime experience. A 101-year-old table tennis player Alexander Kaptarenko, who was born under the Tsars and outlived the Soviet Union, became the oldest torchbearer in the history of the Olympic relay.

Elena Saprygina later carried the Olympic flame on her wheelchair in a sport center in the Siberian city of Tomsk.


A group of daredevil ice-swimmers in Blagoveshchensk took a dip in the freezing cold Amur River, covered with ice with one hand held up, proudly holding the Olympic flame.

A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay on November 26, 2013, and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee shows ice cold water swimming champion Nikolai Petshak carrying an Olympic torch while swimming in the Tatyshev Channel of the Yenisei River in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, some 3500 km (2174 miles) east of Moscow. (AFP Photo)

 A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay on December 7, 2013, and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee shows 101-year old torchbearer Alexander Kaptarenko carrying an Olympic torch in Russia's Siberian city of Novosibirsk, about 2800 km (1750 miles) east of Moscow. (AFP Photo)

There's no stopping Elena Saprygina, either, who carried the Olympic flame on her wheelchair in a sport center in the Siberian city of Tomsk, Russia.

Surely it wouldn’t have been a Russian relay if the Olympic flame didn’t visit the heart of Moscow – the Kremlin.

Though there were some setbacks, as the flame went out near the red-brick Kremlin walls. Fear not, though, as there is always someone nearby with a zippo in a pocket to relight the flame.

A combination of video stills shows the Olympic torch being blown out and relit during its route through the Kremlin in Moscow

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