Journey’s almost over: The Olympic flame is in Sochi

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The longest Olympic torch relay in history has reached its final destination.

After a 39,000-mile trek, the flame that symbolizes one of the world’s great events arrived in Sochi on Wednesday, ready to burn in front of the world during the Olympics.

In addition to visiting the city’s outskirts, the flame also made its way to Rosa Khutor, site of the competition’s alpine events. The next two days will see the flame carried to Fisht Olympic Stadium in time for Friday’s Opening Ceremony.

The Sochi torch relay has been through many adventures – some breathtaking, some bizarre.

MORE: video – The Olympic flame reaches Sochi

In October alone, the flame reached the North Pole, topped Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus, and briefly erupted and burned a Sochi 2014 employee.

Then, in November, a pair of Russian cosmonauts took the torch on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. That month also saw the flame burn in the waters of Siberia’s Lake Baikal, the deepest freshwater lake on Earth, and an incident in which the sleeve of a torch bearer caught fire.

The relay has also been marked with moments of history and sadness. 101-year-old table tennis referee Aleksander Kaptarenko became the oldest Olympic torch bearer ever in December. Later in the month, a 73-year-old former wrestling coach suffered a fatal heart attack after he had carried the torch himself.