Zippo Lighter

Update: Zippo takes Olympic flame image off Facebook page

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Zippo may have started a fire in more ways than one.

The lighter company with the trademarked lifetime guarantee, “It works or we fix it free,” appeared to come to the rescue of the unofficial start of the Olympic torch relay when the flame blew out Sunday.

An officer at the Kremlin relit the flame with a lighter (video here).

From the video, it was inconclusive which brand the lighter was, but the Bradford, Pa., company took credit on Facebook.

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However, Zippo may have breached a law, according to R-Sport.

An official manning the route rekindled the flame with what appeared to be a Zippo cigarette lighter, breaching rules that state only Olympic lanterns brought from Greece may provide backup.

The Pennsylvania-based Zippo company took full advantage Tuesday, however, posting a screen grab of the moment on itsFacebook page Tuesday with the hashtag #ZippoSavesOlympics. The post has gone viral in next year’s host nation with more than 2,400 “likes.”

But the move could be in breach of Russian law banning Olympic symbols from being used in advertising without official approval.

The Sochi 2014 organizing committee is aware of the ad and “is working on this,” its head Dmitry Chernyshenko said on Twitter.

UPDATE: Russian officials contacted Zippo, and the company took the photo and hashtag off its Facebook page. However, it updated its status with this:

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“It was a little bit of whimsy on our part,” David Warfel, Zippo’s global marketing director told RIA Novosti. “We never intended it to be a promotion or marketing event.”

Russian officials “are concerned, and I understand that they don’t want anybody to believe or want us to in any way imply that we do have some kind of business relationship with them, which we don’t,” Warfel said.

Chernyshenko’s tweet came from his Russian account (he also has an English account).

The Olympic flame has since been extinguished a second, third and fourth time in the last two days.

Sochi Olympic torch relay: by the numbers

Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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