The Olympic flame has reached the North Pole as part of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay. The flame reached its destination on 19 October after setting off from the northwest Russian port of Murmansk and travelling inside a special lantern onboard a 160m-long icebreaker.
Eleven torchbearers - who have made great contributions to the study of the Arctic and the preservation of its natural resources, wildlife, and the environment - accompanied the expedition. Once the icebreaker had reached the pole, the Captain of the icebreaker Valentine Davydyants took the first leg of the Relay, followed by Lassie Heininen (Finland), Jens Petter Nilsen and Jan Gunnar Winther (Norway), Karen Pat Pitney (USA), Steingrimur Jonsson (Iceland) , Stephen Podborski (Canada), Ylva Sjöberg (Sweden), Christian Marcussen (Denmark), and Elena Kudryashova (Russia).
The final torchbearer was honoured Arctic and Antarctic explorer Artur Chilingarov, who used the flame to conduct the official Lighting Ceremony of the celebration cauldron, surrounded by the other torchbearers holding the flags of their countries.
In order to comply with the principle of the indivisibility of the Olympic flame, the Relay only began at the North Pole once the final torchbearer in Yaroslavl had completed her run that day and the Olympic flame was moved to its safety lamp.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay began in Moscow on 7 October and will end at the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony on 7 February, having travelled approximately 65,000km around Russia, carried by more than 14,000 Torchbearers.
Find out more about the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners at http://torchrelay.sochi2014.com/en/partners
More information on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay can be found at http://torchrelay.sochi2014.com/en/