Sochi Olympic Torch Flame Fire
Sochi 2014 Olympic Flame at The North Pole. (Courtesy of Sochi 2014)

Olympic Torch Bearer Catches Fire

Fuel ignites on left shoulder

Sochi Olympic Torch Flame Fire

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The line between Olympic torch and human torch momentarily blurred last Wednesday when former bobsledder Pyotr Makarchuk caught fire while carrying the Sochi Olympic flame through the Siberian city of Abakan.

It appears that fuel from the torch leaked onto Makarchuk’s arm and shoulder as he jogged through a crowd of bystanders. When his shoulder caught fire, an escort promptly extinguished the blaze. Neither torch bearer nor the bystanders appeared to be injured.

The glitch is the latest snafu in the Sochi Olympic torch relay, the longest torch relay in modern Olympic history. In October, former Olympic champion swimmer Shavarsha Karapetyan jogged with a flameless torch for a few steps on a windy Moscow street until a bystander relit the torch with his cigarette lighter.

Raw video of the incident:

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
Filed to:
Lead Photo: Courtesy of Sochi 2014

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