Russia Sochi Torch Relay

Olympic flame lit atop Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus – in October

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Officials have confirmed that the Olympic torch’s ascent to the top of Russia’s Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in all of Europe, took place in October 2013. The announcement comes as the torch relay moves into Russia’s Kabardino-Balkaria region, where the mountain is located.

Back in October, mountain climbers Karina Mezova and Abdul-Khalim Elmezov (who serves as president of a local climbing federation) went up Elbrus’ western face with the flame in tow, kept inside a special lantern.

Sochi Olympic organizers said today in a statement that the Elbrus stage of the relay was planned separately from the main torch relay route to “ensure the best possible weather conditions for the climb.”

“Today [Saturday] is the official stage of the torch relay to Mount Elbrus, as is down in the calendar,” a spokesperson confirmed to AFP. “But the mountaineers went there in October, when the weather conditions were more favorable.”

source: AP
Sochi 2014/OlympicTorch2014.com

The Elbrus stage of the relay is the last in a series of four special stages that have also seen the torch visit the International Space Station, the North Pole, and Siberia’s Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake on Earth.

Highlights from Sochi Olympic torch relay trip around Moscow

WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET

Fenway Big Air
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Fenway Park will host some of the world’s best freeskiers in the one-of-a-kind Big Air at Fenway, live on NBC Sports Live Extra on Friday night.

Big air skiers will descend from a ramp that’s four times higher than the Green Monster inside the hallowed Boston Red Sox home.

Ski big air is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic disciplines, except skiers get one jump per run.

WATCH LIVE: Big Air at Fenway — 8:30 p.m. ET

On Thursday, Canadian Max Parrot and American Julia Marino won the snowboard big air competitions at Fenway Park.

Big Air at Fenway coverage will conclude with an NBC show on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET.

MORE: Olympic champ suffers concussion at Big Air at Fenway practice

Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympics open with homages to 1994

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In an homage to the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the Lillehammer Youth Winter Olympic cauldron to cap the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.

The princess’ father, Crown Prince Haakon, lit the 1994 Olympic cauldron in a very similar fashion (video here). Princess Ingrid Alexandra was born in 2004.

The Opening Ceremony, held outdoors at a ski jump (same venue as 1994) in sub-freezing temperatures, included a speech from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

“I’m just a little bit too old to compete in the YOG,” Bach said, urging listeners to use the hashtag #IloveYOG during the nine-day Winter Games.

The ceremony included Olympic legends, such as 2010 figure skating gold medalist Yuna Kim and eight-time Olympic cross-country champion Bjorn Daehlie carrying the Olympic flag.

Marit Bjoergen, a 10-time Olympic medalist cross-country skier, handed the Olympic flame to the princess.

NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra will air coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at 12:30 a.m. ET, plus daily coverage throughout the Winter Games. A full broadcast schedule is here.

MORE: Two years to Pyeongchang: Updates on U.S. Olympic medalists from Sochi