ORENBURG, Russia, December 22 – Almost over. That is, the long journey of the Olympic flame around the world, when its Asian odyssey ended Sunday as the torch relay crossed into European Russia on its way to the host city of
The flame crossed the Ural River in the city of Orenburg over a bridge seen as a symbolic divider between Europe and Asia. The torch was being carried by regional Deputy Governor Oleg Dimov.
Later in the day, Governor Yury Berg and 2012 London Paralympic swimming champion Pavel Poltavets will light the Olympic cauldron at one of the central streets.
The 79-day-old torch relay has already traveled from Moscow to the very easternmost part of the country and is now moving back to the West, going down through the Caucasus to Sochi.
On Monday, the flame will travel across two Russian cities on the Volga River: Syzran and Tolyatti.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic torch relay began on Red Square in Moscow on October 7. About 14,000 torchbearers are taking part in a record 65,000-kilometer (40,000-mile) journey that is to end in the Black Sea resort for the opening ceremony on February 7. (Text and image credit Sochi Olympics)