Will Putin’s rumored flame be the one to light Olympic torch?

Former Olympic champion Alina Kabaeva is rumored to be dating Russian President Vladimir Putin along with being in the running to light the Olympic torch.

TATYANA MAKEYEVA/AFP/Getty Images

Maybe it takes a flame to know — and light — one?

The lighting is traditionally performed by a prominent person from the host country, so Kabaeva would certainly qualify on her own merits. And rumors of her relationship with Putin — who has been single since his divorce last year — have never been officially confirmed.

Alina Kabaeva performs with clubs in the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around final during the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She won the event.

"I’m aware of this (the speculation), I was told of this by (Kremlin spokesman) Dmitry Peskov. These are the usual red herrings,” News.com.au quotes him as saying while he toured a nature reserve near Sochi. "We have many outstanding sportspeople who are significant and known in the whole world, and I am not going to interfere in this process,” he said in comments broadcast on state television.