The torch for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games was designed in the shape of a feather, symbolic of the phoenix, a firebird that represents good luck and happiness in Russian folklore. Made of aluminum, the torch was red and silver.
The torch relay began Oct, 7, 2013 and covered 123 days – it was like no other torch relay before.
For the first time ever, the torch traveled to the North Pole (via a nuclear-powered icebreaker). Two weeks later, the torch traveled into space via the Soyuz rocket and was taken for a spacewalk.
The torch also reached the top of Europe’s highest mountain (Mount Elbrus) and the depths of Siberia’s Lake Baikal (the deepest lake in the world) before arriving in Sochi where former figure skater Irina Rodnina and former hockey player Vladislav Tretiak lit the Olympic Flame.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games featured athletes from 88 nations competing in 98 medal events. The United States claimed 28 medals: nine gold, nine silver and 10 bronze.
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games featured athletes from 45 nations competing in 72 medal events. The United States claimed 18 medals: two gold, seven silver, nine bronze.