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Russia proud of Olympic torch space relay

Updated: 2013-11-10 21:22
( Xinhua)

Russia proud of Olympic torch space relay

Russian astronaut Oleg Kotov holds an Olympic torch as he takes it on a spacewalk as Russian astronaut Sergei Ryazansky gives instructions outside the International Space Station in this still image taken from video courtesy of NASA TV, November 9, 2013. A pair of Russian cosmonauts took an Olympic torch into open space for the first time in history on Saturday as part of the torch relay of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. [Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW - Russia is proud of the space relay of the Olympic torch for the Sochi Winter Games, the organizing committee president, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said Sunday.

If any country can surpass Russia's endeavor to send the Olympic torch on a spacewalk, Chernyshenko would like to see them try, he told local media.

"We have shown the entire world what we are capable of very vividly...If anyone can do better, let them try," sports media R-Sport quoted him as saying.

At about 1450 GMT on Saturday, the unlit torch was taken out from the International Space Station (ISS) by Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy.

Millions of watchers around the world followed the live webcast of the event. "The reaction across the globe has been extremely positive. Everyone has been talking about it, it's had immense attention and there has been real respect, without irony, that Russia has put a torch in space," Chernyshenko said.

According to the official, the ideal of the space relay was to unite the whole nation around this event.

The torch will stay at the ISS until Monday before it will be brought back to Earth by Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, USastronaut Karen Nyberg and Italian Luca Parmitano.

The "space" torch will be used to lit the main Olympic flame during the opening of the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 7.

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