Sochi Olympics torch

Details of Sochi Olympic torch relay’s trip to North Pole

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How is the Olympic torch going to reach the North Pole?

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee answered that question Thursday.

In October, the torch will travel 3,100 miles on a “nuclear powered icebreaker” named “50 Years of Victory.”

A “special Olympic Torch Lamp” will accompany the Olympic flame.

Dubbed the longest relay in Winter Olympic history, it will span more than 40,000 miles across 83 Russian regions.

Once at the North Pole, the Lighting Ceremony will take place and torchbearers from Russia and countries of the Arctic Council, comprising important people related to the study and conservation of the Arctic, will participate in the Relay. … The torchbearers will run alongside the icebreaker and across an ice block, after which they will light the Sochi 2014 Olympic Cauldron.

A polar explorer and federal lawmaker named Artur Chilingarov will lead the expedition, according to the Moscow Times.

“Expeditions to the North Pole have been routine practice for Russian ice-breakers for a long time,” he said, adding that the ship “has a very experienced captain who knows how to get there and back.”

The expedition is an opportunity for Russia’s nuclear fleet to flex its muscles, he said.

“We will show the whole world once again that the Arctic is completely accessible to our fleet,” Chilingarov said.

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President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

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President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: