Russia had to re-light the Olympic flame with a cigarette lighter

If there's a better visual metaphor for the impending catastrophe that is the 2014 Sochi Olympics, we haven't yet seen it. As the Olympic flame was making its way through some somber Russian architecture at the Kremlin in Moscow, it winked out, leaving the poor befuddled Olympian running with it to call for aid.

And aid arrived in the form of an old-school flip-cigarette lighter. Of course.

The flame had arrived in Moscow with plenty of pomp and circumstance, even getting its own seat on an arriving plane. Russian president Vladimir Putin welcomed the flame in Red Square, noting that “It is natural that sport is so loved in Russia and that it values everything that is connected to it." Only after the flame left Putin's gaze did everything go wrong.

Between concerns over corruption and battles over free speech, actual athletic competition is so far the bronze-medal storyline at Sochi. Going to be a fascinating Olympics, for sure.

[Tip of the torch to Buzzfeed.]

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