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Greek skier to be first Sochi torchbearer
Saturday September 21, 2013 - Email this article to a friend

The 18-year old, Ioannis Antoniou, will carry the flame as it is lit from the rays of the sun in a ceremony in Athens later this month. It will then go up into space, to the North Pole and to the bottom of the deepest lake in the world.

The torch will be lit using a parabolic mirror on September 29th at the ancient Olympic site in Athens.

Ioannis Antoniou took part in the  World Junior Alpine Skiing Championships in 2012. He represented Greece last winter at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria.

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, which will begin in Sochi on October 7 and then travel 65,000 kms round the county.

The flame will go to 2,900 towns across Russia's 83 regions as it travels by car, train, plane, Russian troika and reindeer sleigh.

Its highlight will be its journey into space as we have reported earlier on PlanetSKI.

It will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in central Kazakhstan on November 7 aboard the Soyuz TMA-11M manned Soviet-designed spaceship.

It will be taken 400km to the orbiting International Space Station.

More than 14,000 Torchbearers and 30,000 volunteers will carry the Torch on its journey.

The journey beginsThe journey begins









"The Olympic Torch Relay is one of the most important and magical Olympic occasions," said Sochi 2014 President and chief executive, Dmitry Chernyshenko.

"It continues the build up of excitement ahead of the Games and, as well as spreading the Olympic values to the whole country. We will be creating, as a nation, an important part of Russian history."

The centrepiece will be when it is taken into space by two Russian cosmonaughts.

Oleg Kotov and Sergey RyazanskyOleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky












The cosmonauts are already in training at the Yuri Gagarin Centre near Moscow for their special mission.

First though it has to be lit in Greece and then taken to Russia.

Few know that Greece has a number of ski resorts and PlanetSKI has visited them - see here for our report on the country better know for its sand than it snow.

Lets hope the clouds stay away over Athens on September 29th as the parabolic mirror is deployed to catch the rays of the sun.

It is though usually a fairly cheesy affair.

Recreating Ancient GreeceRecreating Ancient Greece











Lighting the flameLighting the flame











It promises to be quite a torch relay.

The Torch RelayThe Torch Relay











For the spirit of the mountains

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