Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko attributed the Olympic flame being blown out by wind Sunday to a problem with a torch vent.
“I wouldn’t devote any special attention to what happened,” he said, according to R-Sport. “There was a misunderstanding because a vent in the torch wasn’t opened properly and the flame wasn’t at the intensity [it was supposed to be].”
The flame went out while retired Soviet swimmer Shavarsh Karapetyan carried it (video). A nearby official quickly reignited it with a cigarette lighter.
The Olympic flame appeared to be extinguished again during the official torch relay Monday. In this video, the flame appears to go out at about the 55-second mark. The runner stops for more than a minute as four men help him get the torch reignited.
Here’s how the Washington Post described it:
A torchbearer taking part in the Olympic relay through Moscow Monday afternoon was jogging along Raushskaya Embankment, on the other side of the river from the Kremlin, when his flame was extinguished, according to reports on TV Rainand amateur videos.
The torchbearer, accompanied by a police car, SUV, small van and several volunteer marshals, stopped. A volunteer rushed up to him with another torch. A third arrived holding what might be a small lantern – it was difficult to see.
The seconds dragged by. Dark clouds pressed down from above with seeming displeasure. The spectators could be heard. “It’s sad.” They chuckled uneasily. “Is Gazprom sponsoring this?” (Gazprom is the giant government-controlled energy company.) Then the new torch ignited, and the runner was on his way.
By the numbers: Olympic torch relay
David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.
“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”
Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.
It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.
Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.
She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.
“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”
Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.
MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics
Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.
Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.
He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.
“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”
Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.
“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.
“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”
MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds