Sochi 2014 Flame Warms Arctic

(ATR) The Sochi Olympic flame heads east into Asian Russia over the next three weeks.

The Sochi Olympic flame is heading east into Asian Russia over the next three weeks before circling back to European Russia.

Novy Urengoy and Salekhard welcomed the flame on Monday. Olympic swimmer Sergey Fesikov was on the line-up of about 100 torchbearers who carried the flame through the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.The relay route inSalekhard stretched across approximately 7 miles.

The relay once again crossed over the Arctic Circle on Sunday as the flame toured Nyan-Mar. Overall, 50 torchbearers covered a distance of approximately 6.2 miles on their route through the city.Sochi 2014 says one torchbearer ran the flame across the tundra "among herds of thousands of reindeer."

On Tuesday, the relay will travel to Nefteyugansk andKhanty-Mansiysk in Western Siberia. RIA Novosti reports that the flame will travel "by deer sleigh" inKhanty-Mansiysk.

A cosmonaut will take the torch on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Thursday. The rocket delivering the torch payload will be adorned in the Sochi 2014 color scheme and graphics, ATR is told.

Written byNicole Bennett.

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