If the Olympic torch relay is any indicator, things could be rough at the Sochi Games. According to some, the flame has already gone out more than forty times, and least once, it had to be relit using a disposable lighter. And really, that’s only the beginning of the problematic relay in which one person accidentally set himself on fire and another person died. And things won’t get any easier. The NYT describes the course: “At about 40,000 miles, the route is the longest in Olympic history, winding through the North Pole, beneath the water in Lake Baikal and into space. Fourteen thousand people are taking part, the most ever, and they are traveling, variously, on foot, by plane, by train, by car, by snowmobile, by icebreaker, by jet pack, by zip wire, by sleigh, by horse and by camel.”

+ NPR: Gays In U.S. Olympic Delegation will send message to Russia. It’s interesting to note who’s going to the Games. And who isn’t (including both Obama and Biden).