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Flame Watch: Siberian children to start Torch Relay

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Keeping with tradition, children from the farthest reaches of Siberia will have the pleasure of starting off this year’s Torch Relay once the Flame is lit in Greece and makes its journey to Moscow.

“Children from Olympia’s twin towns carry the flame after it is lit in ancient Olympia,” Yakutsk mayor Aisen Nikolaev explained while visiting Greece. “Last year, for example, after the flame was lit for the London Olympics, children from a twin town in Japan carried the flame.”

“Now here’s already an agreement that the Flame for [Sochi] will be carried by children from Yakutsk.”

The Torch Relay, which kicks off October 7, will make a 65,000 km serpentine trip through 2,900 Russian towns and cities – oh, and space – before eventually landing in Sochi just in time for the Opening Ceremony on February 7.

Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about the Sochi Torch relay.

2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships to be in San Jose

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The 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, the final competition to determine the Pyeongchang Olympic team, will be in San Jose, California, at the SAP Center, concluding Jan. 7.

It appears to be the earliest the U.S. Figure Skating Championships will end in an Olympic year in at least 50 years.

The competition will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed live on Icenetwork.com.

San Jose previously hosted the U.S. Championships in 1996 and 2012, but it has never hosted in an Olympic year.

Sochi Olympian Polina Edmunds is from San Jose and figures to receive a boost of crowd support. Edmunds, 18, begins classes at nearby Santa Clara University next month.

The January 2017 U.S. Championships will be in Kansas City. The international figure skating season starts next month, with Skate America kicking off the Grand Prix season in October.

Recent Nationals host cities in Olympic years were Boston in 2014 and Spokane, Washington, in 2010.

MORE: Ashley Wagner, Gracie Gold headline Skate America

Fiji Olympic rugby coach given 3 acres of land, special name

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11:  Gold medalists Ro Dakuwaqa of Fiji and Fiji head coach Ben Ryan celebrate after the medal ceremony for the Men's Rugby Sevens on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympics at Deodoro Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
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Olympic coaches don’t receive gold medals. Fiji Olympic men’s rugby coach Ben Ryan may have gotten something better anyway.

Ryan’s reward for guiding Fiji to its first Olympic medal in any sport — gold in rugby sevens’ Olympic debut — included three acres of land in Fiji and a new name, Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara, according to Fijian reports.

Ryan, a London native, is stepping down as coach of the Fijian team. The 44-year-old coached the team for three years after leading the England national sevens team for six years.

MORE: Fiji wins nation’s first Olympic medal