The Olympic torch has been to space, the North Pole, and now the bottom of Lake Baikal.
Dmitry Lovetsky/AP

MOSCOW -- The Olympic torch has plunged into the world's deepest lake in Russia ahead of the Sochi Winter Games.

Video from the Sochi Olympic Organizing Committee showed lifeguard Nikolai Rybachenko in scuba gear at Lake Baikal on Saturday. He lit what the committee says is a water-resistant flare atop the torch and submerged himself in the lake.

The 39,000-mile Sochi torch relay, which started on Oct. 7, is the longest in Olympic history. The torch has flown in space and traveled to the North Pole on a Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker.

The torch will be used to light the Olympic flame in Sochi on Feb. 7, marking the start of the 2014 Games.

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