MOSCOW, January 14 (R-Sport) - The chief organizer of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games on Monday revived the possibility of the Olympic flame journeying into space.
Details have been sparse on the plan first voiced by Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov in 2011 to send the flame to the International Space Station.
Dmitry Chernyshenko went no further than to say he "hoped" the flame would be taken into "open space" before the Games, which start February 7, 2014.
"The flame will visit Mount Elbrus, Lake Baikal, and the North Pole," Chernyshenko said at a Moscow ceremony unveiling the torch design Monday.
"We even hope that it will go out into open space."
If it were counted as part of the torch relay, which starts in October, it would add a considerable chunk to the record 65,000-kilometer route, which stretches from the western exclave of Kaliningrad to the frozen wastes of Chukotka in the Far East.
After the flame arrives from Greece, it begins its 123-day odyssey in Moscow, spiraling out from the capital before heading east and looping around the Kamchatka Peninsula, down to Vladivostok and back across southern Siberia via Lake Baikal, the world's largest freshwater lake.
On its way through 83 towns and cities, one for every region of the country, the torch makes its way back into European Russia, eventually winding down to the Black Sea resort of Sochi for the Opening Ceremony on February 7, 2014.
More than 14,000 torchbearers and 30,000 volunteers will accompany the flame, which organizers claim within an hour's travel of 90 percent of the 141 million population.