The moment had arrived - Russian President Vladimir Putin ceremoniously lit the Olympic flame at Red Square on Sunday to start the four-month torch relay for the Sochi Winter Games.
However, the ceremonious turned to ominous when the flame died out soon after being ignited by the great Putin. It was reignited and the relay continued. The flame may have been extinguished due to an air tunnel along the route.
According to Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Sochi organizing committee, it was possible that the valve of the torch had not been opened fully.
Cynics would say it might even be the collective breath of the raging souls incensed over Putin’s lack of addressing the controversies surrounding the games, most prominently the rising discrimination against homosexuals.
Whatever the case (or cause for that matter) may be, it was enough to give rise to a lot of speculation and adverse reaction.
Could it a bad omen or perhaps even a warning for the Russian government to curb some of its unreasonable doctrines?
Protected by four small lanterns, the flame was flown in from Greece after being lit at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics. It was handed over to Russia on Saturday at the marble Athens stadium that hosted the first modern Games in 1896.
The torch, safely encased in a lantern, will stay in Moscow for three days and then begin its journey across Russia, traveling 39,000 miles by plane, train, car and even reindeer sleigh. It will go to the North Pole on an atomic-powered icebreaker to Europe's highest peak Mt Elbrus, and the depths of Siberia's Lake Baikal. The other torch will be carried into space in November for a brief visit to the International Space Station, whose crew will take the torch - unlit - on a spacewalk. The same torch will be used to light the Olympic flame in Sochi.
Here are a few glimpses from the slightly botched torch relay:
Russian President Vladimir Putin probably willing the flame to behave.
Russian President Vladimir Putin lighting the torch with justified pride.
The flame is ready to be carried on and forward.
And so it begins.
A combination of images captured from video show the events from the torchbearer receiving the Olympic torch to the blowing out and re-lighting of the torch.
Relighting up close and personal.