Olympic torch relay

Sochi Olympic torch relay reaches North Pole

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Cross off one of the most ambitious goals of the record-setting Sochi Olympic torch relay.

The Olympic flame made it to the North Pole, according to Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee president Dmitry Chernyshenko‘s Twitter account.

“In spite of everything the flame burned excellently,” Chernyshenko said on his Russian Twitter account, according to an R-Sport translation. “The weather’s warm, just -15 [degrees].”

The flame departed for the North Pole aboard the icebreaker ship “50 Years of Victory” from Murmansk, Russia, on Tuesday.

Coming up, the torch relay will visit outer space (International Space Station, blast off Nov. 7), the bottom of the world’s largest freshwater lake (November) and the top of Europe’s highest mountain (February) before the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 7.

Meanwhile, the main part of the torch relay continued through Russia.

Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, was a torchbearer Saturday.

She added that she would have liked to take the Olympic flame into space “but unfortunately that’s not up to me.”

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It’s over: a low-key Games on a far more human scale

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The 2018 Winter Olympics shivered Sunday to a close, surely defined by cold and wind but destined — just as in Seoul 30 years before — to mark a key chapter in history on the Korean peninsula.

NBCOlympics.com: Sights and Sounds from the 2918 Olympics Closing Ceremony

These Games are likely to be recalled as an inflection point in Olympic history, too. After logistical dramas and more at Rio 2016 and Sochi 2014, the Olympic scene needed a Games at which the venues were built, the buses ran on time, security was subtle, the volunteers were super-friendly — organizationally, everything more or less just worked — and the spotlight shone on the athletes and their stories of inspiration.

That’s what PyeongChang delivered.

A low-key Games on a far more human scale.

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More of best GIFs from PyeongChang Olympics

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The 2018 Winter Games are over, but that doesn’t mean we’ll forget all the amazing heights reached by American athletes. Take a look back at a few of them here with an added twist, powered by Giphy: