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Olympic Flame Arrives In Sochi As Putin Says Russia Ready

President Vladimir Putin speaks with Olympic Village Mayor and world-record pole vaultet Yelena Isinbayeva Sochi on February 5 ahead of the Winter Olympics.
President Vladimir Putin toured the Olympic village and declared Russia ready to host the 2014 winter games as the Olympic torch arrived in Sochi on February 5.

The torch traveled some 65,000 kilometers and was at the North Pole and taken into space by Russian cosmonauts.

It created controversy along the way, when it went out several times and also burned some of the torchbearers.

Meanwhile, Putin offered encouragement to Russia's athletes ahead of the February 7 opening ceremony, telling them their countrymen are "really counting on you."

Team Russia had disappointing results four years ago in Vancouver, winning only three gold medals.

Despite Putin's assurances, many journalists have complained about poor construction at hotels.

Competition at the Sochi games -- which Russia spent more than $50 billion preparing for -- starts on February 6 and will conclude on February 23.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP