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

Continuity carries Germany, Russians into Olympic final

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GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — They forged bonds from Riga to Cologne and in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

It’s all led Germany and the Russians to a David versus Goliath Olympic gold-medal game Sunday. Even though the Russians were favorites all along and expected to win gold in a tournament without NHL stars and Germany was a longshot to even reach the semifinals after not qualifying in Sochi, these two teams are more similar than they are different.

NBCOlympics.com: OAR to face surprising Germany in final

Their familiarity and continuity is the biggest reason they’re facing off in the final.

Germany’s core group has been together through the Olympic qualification tournament and world championships and has played the same system for the past three years under coach Marco Sturm. The Russians’ 25-man roster is made up of 15 players from SKA St. Petersburg and eight from CSKA Moscow, the two best teams in the Kontinental Hockey League.

“That’s a big key to our success,” Germany defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said Saturday. “We were very familiar with each other. … (The Russians also) should be really familiar because almost everybody plays on the same teams in Russia.”

Read the full story here 

OAR’s cross-country success led by doping-tainted coach

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — They are hailed as the vanguard of a new generation of clean Russian cross-country skiers, all are under the age of 23 and all are coached by a man who was once suspended for doping offenses.

The youthful quartet is trained by Yuri Borodavko and has combined for three silver and three bronze medals at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

NBCOlympics.com: Niskanen captures Finland’s first PyeongChang gold

Alexander Bolshunov, Alexei Chervotkin, Denis Spitsov and Natalia Nepryaeva have improved remarkably since working with Borodavko two years ago. Spitsov hadn’t even competed in a World Cup race until December but now has two Olympic silver medals and a bronze.

NBCOlympics.com: Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping

Last week, the head of the Russian delegation in Pyeongchang described the cross-country team’s results as one of Russia’s “main achievements” at the games.

Read the full story and watch highlights from all the action in PyeongChang by clicking here