Russia on Monday presented the Olympic torch and the uniform its athletes will wear at the Winter Games to be held next year in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
"I hope that this torch brings us luck in Sochi," said Tatiana Navka, Olympic and world champion in artistic ice skating, at the presentation ceremony held with fanfare at the GUM shopping mall in Moscow's Red Square.
The torch, made of aluminum and polymer, weighs 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds) and is shaped like a feather. It symbolizes the Firebird, a magical bird from Russian folklore.
The Olympic torch is silver with a red edge, the latter being traditional color for Russian athletes and it was designed by Vladimir Pirozhkov and Andrei Vodianik.
The propane torch, which can remain lit under adverse weather conditions, "combines popular traditions and high technology, that is, our past and our future," said Dmitri Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee.
A total of 14,000 Olympic torches on Oct. 7 will begin their journey through some 2,900 Russian communities before arriving at Sochi in February 2014. EFE