The (Sochi)Firebird Olympic Torch   34 comments

The (Sochi)Firebird Olympic Torch

Olympic 2014 Flame lighting for XXII Olympic Winter Games in Russia.


firebird-russian-fairy-tales-character-20302774Firebird (1)The Sochi 2014 torch is designed to resemble a feather from the magical golden Firebird – the Russian version of the legendary Phoenix, a creature as mysterious as the mythology it is steeped in. Holding a sacred place throughout Russian myth and folklore, it symbolises many things and in Russian fairy tales the firebird’s feather is used to “light the way.”

The Firebird has also inspired many artists, including Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, who consequently wrote a ballet entitled “The Firebird” in 1910, effectively immortalising the legend of the Firebird.

Olympic-Torch_Sochi-201413_01_17_Szocsi-paralimpiai-fáklyaThe Olympic Torch – the “feather,” will be coloured a dramatic fiery red in respect to the traditional sporting colour of Russia. The Paralympic Torch, as with the Olympic Torch will be created out of cast aluminium alloy, and with a view to symbolising the power and the spirit invoked in the Olympic movement will be sky blue in colour.

Flame Lighting Ceremony – Greece lights the world

On its travels throughout the games host country the Sacred Flame burns for the duration of the Olympic Games, acting as a bright and powerful symbol, reminding the people of their birth land.

greece-olympics-sochi-flamearticle-2437233-185EF94600000578-894_634x426The ritual of “The Lighting” is simple yet mysterious in nature. Following the procession of robed priestesses who proceed from the Temple of Hera, which fronts the goddess’s temple, they then surround the altar. Arrayed in white robes the High Priestess, calls firstly upon the god Apollo, then lights the torch by the rays of the sun, and the assistance of a mirror that is concave in shape. Once lit and carefully protected, and contained throughout in a small ceramic pot, the flame is then transported via another procession to the location of the Athens’ Panathenaic Stadium, where the very 1st Greek Olympic Games in 1896 were held. During the course of the procession a branch is cut from the Olive tree. This is seen as a symbol of peace and is an evocative echo of the prize given to the winner in the early times of the Olympic Games. On its arrival at the Stadium, escorted by the priestesses, the first Olympic relay runner’s torch is lit by the High Priestess marking the beginning of the torch relay. The Olympic flame travels to many places and becomes the connecting bond among people sending the message of hope; a trait also associated with the Firebird that the design of the torch is linked to.

firebirdAccording to the Myth of Promytheus the fire is the symbol of life, rationalism and freedom as well as inventiveness and so had been the ageless flame that used to burn on the Altar of Prytaneion in Ancient Olympia.

c9effd98e00d99ac6be076fde41891792612c526The Russian city of Sochi will host the 2014 Winter Olympics opening on Feb 7 2014. They will draw to a close on Feb 23 2014. For the first time the Russian Federation will be hosting the Olympics. In 1980 the Soviet Union hosted the Summer games in Moscow.

Torch Relay

cq5dam.web.1280.1280The torch was carried through Greece until 6 October then flown to Moscow from where it will spend 123 day travelling to the host city of Sochi, covering 40,000 miles+ / 65,000 km+. It involves 14,000 torchbearers and is the longest relay in the history of the Games, spanning 83 different regions throughout Russia, capital cities, 9 time zones and 2,900 communities included. It will travel by foot, car, train and plane. Its journey will also include trips on a toika, reindeer and dog sleighs, snow mobiles and even a balloon.


Highlights : Since departing Russia in October the Torch has voyaged to N Pole on nuclear-powered icebreaker “50 years of Victory” and in November visited (unlit) the ISS under escort of two Russian cosmonauts. It will have visited the highest mountain in Russia, Mount Elbrus in the Caucaus, UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Sand Dunes of the Curonian Spit, and Kizhi, an old island settlement, voyaging finally, to the bottom of Lake Baikal before being used for the opening ceremony on 7 February 2014. firebird_by_svet_svet-d3bm04m

34 responses to “The (Sochi)Firebird Olympic Torch

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  1. Thrilling isn’t it! Wonderful post! Stirs me up~

  2. This is a brilliant posting Icywolfy and I hope that you will be getting ready to watch the Winter Olympics, I always enjoy the skiing events, though I doubt if Eddie the Eagle will be taking part, I wonder how old he is now? Yes I could check that out in a few clicks of the mouse but knowing how wicked you are I was thinking that you might already know the answer 🙂 I have thoroughly enjoyed this one Icywolfy and it includes Mythology so how spoilt am I my great friend 🙂 Have a funtastic Monday 😉

    Andro xxxx

    • Thank you Vampy Andro 😉 I am indeed preparing to watch the Winter Olympics…they have been long enough coming! It’s been a long wait since the 2012 Summer Olympics!! I do believe young Eddie the Eagle is 50 years old now? Correct me if I’m wrong…but of course I won’t be…Icewolfie is always right!!!!! and I’m glad you enjoyed the mythology aspect…it’s always fun to investigate that side of things 🙂 It also adds depth and interest to the Olympic event to have some background knowledge of it to enrich the experience…at least I think so 🙂 I assume you haven’t washed or blown away in this lovely winter weather we are experiencing! But it should be good for ensuring the billowing of the Vampy cloak and some interesting flight experiences…or is that crash into the washing line experiences?!! lol 😉 xxx

      • I agree, the mythology adds a great deal to any blog posting, and you always research them fully, which expands the interest levels, well it does for me anyway 🙂 Ouch… Those washing line landings can be dodgy especially if it is an open legged landing experience 😦 Hoooooooowl

        Have fun today my sweet Icywolfy and don’t be hiding under my cloak, or you might miss out on the chocolates 🙂 lol

        Andro xxxx

      • But I have to hide under your cloak…that’s where you hide all the goodies 😀 😉 Well it’s not my fault if you like to play hide and seek with the choccies now is it? lol…and do be careful with those washing line landings…remember the chocolates!! ;)… Icewolfie hugs 🙂 xxx

      • I wondered where the mistletoe went to, it must have been one of those wayward landings that left it dangling somewhere else, never mind the chocolates are still intact 🙂 lmao You get worse Icywolfy 🙂

        Andro xxxx

      • I dread to think what happened to the mistletoe!! You probably dropped it whilst you were seducing your latest innocent maiden with such a loooonnnnnnnng white neck primed for the biting!! 😉 Would you like me to check under your cloak? 😀 Just to make sure it’s not in with the chocolates!! 😉 xxx

  3. That’s quite a journey the torch will make!
    The firebird images are beautiful. I find the legend of the phoenix fascinating.

    • I love the Phoenix legend and all it symbolises. It was a nice little bonus to discover its connections to the 2014 Winter Olympics and an excellent excuse to expand on the theme a little! The torch has more meaning when you learn about its links to mythology I think 🙂 It’s certainly on one exciting journey! I am quite jealous of it in fact!!

  4. Love the idea of Firebird! And didn’t know it’s a part of Russian folklore as well, thanks for sharing. In the shamanic tradition I studied with, it is Quetzalcóatl (the Feathered Serpent) who is the guardian of the Upper world. Fearless creatures 🙂 xox

    • Hi shamanictracker 🙂 Great to see you and thanks for calling in! I didn’t know anything about the Firebird and it’s links in Russian folklore either but that’s the great thing about blogging for this Icewolf – the fascinating things you learn on your travels to research the posts 🙂 I love its links to the Olympic Torch this Winter Olympics! That would make a great post you know – the Feathered Serpent in Shamanic tradition! I would love for you to share about it so I can learn about a totally new subject and enhance my great fascination with the subject of this area of interest 🙂 xx

  5. So much history attached to the Torch, Ice Wolfie, ’twas a pleasure to read. Such a legacy to pass on, and long may it continue. love and light. xPenx

    • Thank you Pen! There is a hoooOOOOOOoooooWWWWWWWWwwwwwwLLLLLingly good history to the Torch! It is fascinating to discover the mythology attached to the Russian Torch and adds depth to the whole event 🙂 I have been trying to leave comments on your posts…to date I am having no success because I can’t get in! The page is coming up blank even though it lets me like it from the mobile. Very strange! Sure it’s only a temporary hitch so catch up asap 🙂 Icewolfie hugs xx

  6. Great story and photos Wolfie on the world’s greatest sporting competition. It deserves the best attention given it.
    The young men and women who participate work hard for these games. Love how you described the opening events!
    Should be very exciting all an all. Looking forward to them aren’t you? with love, Eddie

    • I certainly am looking forward to them Eddie!! Been a long wait for another Olympic event since 2012 😉 This should be very exciting and it’s great that you enjoyed this post and seem to share my enthusiasm for the subject! I hope everybody who has the privilege of taking part in the Games has a wonderful time and I am eagerly awaiting this winter excitement…complete with ski suit, snow shoes, and big woolly scarf! Hope you have yours too!! lol 😉 xx

  7. This is absolutely beautiful. You blog just radiates hope and excitement about the Olympics. I am praying though. I fear the negativity that is flowing right now. But I never miss the Winter Olympics. If they are as spectacular as your blog hints at, they will be one of the best ever. Hugs, Barbara

    • Great to know you enjoyed the post Barbara 🙂 Yes…the negativity is very worrying one way or another but hopefully it will not be allowed to tarnish the up and coming events and paws crossed all will be well! 🙂 Wolfie hugs 🙂

  8. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel and commented:
    It is 2014 and the Olympics are almost here.

  9. Have you noticed any “russian” visitors to your blog lately ? They came about 2 weeks ago, now I am getting about 7/10 a day. They don’t leave comments, they just come at night on silent wings. Spying on me no doubt lol

    Great post as ever Timid One. But I don’t do olympics, or russians. But they do have one “great” law I can respect.
    Hope you are having a great sat night.
    Kenny 🙂 x

  10. Hej Wolfie..
    vad skönt att du också gillar Manhattan stilen den är rak ren och snygg jag gillar inte att ha retro vintage hemma hos mig bara i bloggarna lol..hoppas allt bra med dig och hoppas du inte fryser som jag gjorde igår det var inte skönt det blåste som tusan..
    ha en fin vecka min vackra varg vän kram Nicki

    Hi Wolfie ..
    how nice that you also like Manhattan style is straight clean and neat, I do not like to have retro vintage home with me just in blog posts lol .. hope everything is well with you and hope you do not freeze like I did yesterday, it was not good it blew as hell ..
    have a nice week my beautiful wolf friend hug Nicki

    • Oh ja Nicki! Rakt, rent och snyggt är bara hur jag gillar det 🙂 Och naturligtvis bör du inte ha vintage retro bara med dig i dina bloggar! Inte bra alls! Jag är för närvarande omvårdnad en infektion i min front tand;) Jag har en stor kurs av antibiotika för att sedan min tandläkare vill borra ett stort hål i min tand och tillfogar en stor fyllning på mig! Om det inte fungerar tanden måste tas bort (tandlösa Wolfie!) Och ersätts med en mycket dyr implantat. Men det kunde ha varit mycket värre, så ja … allt är bra på det hela. Det är kallt, blött och blåsigt här med hot om is och snö nästa vecka … Jag tror att jag kommer att flytta till Sverige!
      Vintage retro Wolfie kram!

  11. Hallo liebe Wölfie wünsche dir einen schönen Tag schöner Text, habe dich nicht mehr bei mir gefunden.Ich wünsche dir eine gute und glückliche neue Woche liebe Grüße und Freundschaft Gislinde

    • Guten Abend mein guter Freund Gislinde 🙂
      Sie haben gerade erst begonnen, wieder in meine Benachrichtigungen angezeigt
      Das sind gute Nachrichten, da Sie nicht für eine lange Zeit gezeigt haben,
      und ich habe Schwierigkeiten Sie.
      Manchmal können Sie direkt auf den gelöschten Ordner gesendet werden, bevor ich dich zu sehen!
      Ich habe zwei von Ihre Beiträge gefunden,
      und werde ich mich auf den Weg,
      wenn ich euch hier beantwortet 🙂
      Wolfie umarmen an diesem kalten und winterlichen Nacht 🙂

  12. Wolfie, always your posts give us so much information to digest, and I didnt know about the Fire Birds, so I was fascinated and can see why this was chosen as a symbol too.. And was really interested in reading about Russia’s folk-law which it lights the way… I hope the Olympic’s too can Light the Way as did our own London Olympics bring the country together.. A Magical time..
    Loved all the images Wolfie, and hope your little paws are keeping dry these wet days?
    Have a wonderful Week..
    Sue xox

    • My paws are frozen Sue! How are yours?! lol… My posts may just possibly give too much to digest and give people indigestion lol but not to worry, they can always pop across to yours which will no doubt be a fine tonic and the equivalent of a well brewed “Rennie” to their discomfort! 😉 I hope people will put their differences to one side for the 2014 Winter Olympics and just enjoy…it strikes me as a great way to brighten up an otherwise rather grey and bleak February 🙂 We all need a touch of magic to “light the way” sometimes 🙂 xxx

      • So very true Wolfie, I feel that the London Olympics opened up an energy gateway to the ‘Feel-Good-Factor’ and brought together many people as they got behind their nations and sporting personalities..
        I hope that the Winter Olympics can do the same for Russia.. it has so many negatives which are in need of healing… So lets hope the Fire Bird can raise them out of the ashes so to speak 🙂 And Renew their own Spirits to Soar… xxx

  13. Beautiful blog.i wonder if you will be covering the Olympics? This is such a great post. I keep your paws warm. It is -13 here if that is any consolation! May there be no terror attacks during the games. Hugs, Barbara

  14. Mythology is a very interesting study of psychology and life.

    • HoooOOOOooooooooooWWWWWWwwwwwLLLLLLLooooooo! Thank you for stopping by 🙂 I agree with you regarding mythology…I think many others would too…there seems to be a big appetite for the subject – I’d be rolling in readers if I stuck purely to mythology!! Not much danger of that though 😉 I found the Firebird tale fascinating. It was the first I’d heard of it and taught me about a new angle on Russia. It also brought the event to Olympic event to life in a new way as well as feeding my developing interest in Russia as a country and people. And I enjoyed my short (it’s very late here) visit to your blog – I like your writing style and I am keen to return to investigate further 🙂

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