KAZAN/PARIS - The 2013 Summer Universiade Torch Relay was officially launched on July 12th, 2012. The Flame was solemnly lit at the prestigious Paris-Sorbonne University where the first ‘World Student Games’ were held in 1923. Now the Torch will embark on a round the world trip.
The Universiade Torch Lighting Ceremony was attended by FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien; Mintimer Shaimiev, Tatarstan's first President and current State Counsellor; Oleg Matytsin, President of the RSSU (Russian Student Sports Union); Georges Molinié, President of Paris-Sorbonne University; José Savoye, President of the FFSU (French University Sports Federation) and Vladimir Leonov, Director General of the Kazan 2013 Executive Committee.
FISU President Gallien
‘This is an historic moment for FISU’, President Gallien said. ‘The FISU torch will travel the world spreading the message of sport and education. An important part of its travel will be on the Sedov bark, a navy school ship, which is also symbolical as the barks crew is composed of nautical students.’
The honour to kindle the Flame was awarded to five students of Paris-Sorbonne University who represented the five continents of the world. On July 6th, one year prior to the 2013 Games and one week before the Torch Lighting Ceremony, the students met in Kazan, took a Torchbearer’s oath in five languages: Russian, English, Chinese, Arabic, French and headed to Paris. During the Lighting Ceremony they joined the torches together, uniting the separate fires into one flame, and President of Paris-Sorbonne University Georges Molinié lighted the Universiade Torch. He then passed it on to the other officials, and the first Torchbearer will received the Flame from Vladimir Leonov.
Mintimer Shaimiev, Tatarstan's first President and current State Counsellor
The Universiade Torch is a symbol of unity, friendship and peace among international students. The Torch’s design deserves a special mention; it represents a stylised tulip which contains the Latin letter 'U', a mandatory element to brand any sporting event held under the auspices of FISU. The basis of the torch design is the so-called floral style which is an essential part of the modern Tatar ornament.
The 2013 Summer Universiade will be a record-setting event in the history of international university sports. Within 365 days 2,013 Torchbearers will carry the Flame through 54 cities of the world, visit 50 university centres and cover over 150,000 kilometres. The Torch-related events will bring the magic of Kazan 2013 to over 1.5 million students all over the world.
Students form the 5 continents light the torch
The historic moment in the Relay will arrive when as part of the round the world cruise the Universiade Torch will start its journey on board of the world’s largest tall ship Sedov. For the duration of the longest running sailing regatta, the Torch will be handed to a team of cadets – the keepers of the Universiade Flame. On board of the Sedov bark, the Torch will cover 45,000 nautical miles and will repeat the route of greatest sailors of all times.
Upon its arrival in the most eastern city of Russia, Vladivostok, the Universiade Torch Relay will be warmly greeted at the 2012 APEC Summit. The Flame will also be a long-awaited guest at the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival (Sydney, Australia), an annual marathon and a legacy of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. On its journey around the world the Torch will visit the 2012 Formula 1 Singel Singapore Grand Prix in Singapore and will be carried along Marina Bay Street Circuit.
President Gallien receives the torch from Georges Molinié, President of Paris-Sorbonne University
The hottest continent, Africa, will extend an even hotter welcome to the Universiade Torch Relay in the sands of the Sahara Desert where the final leg of the FIM Cross Country Rally World Championship – Pharaohs Rally – will be held. Best race cars will take the Flame across the desert and through dry river beds to the sand dunes.
Oleg Matytsin passes the torch to Vladimir Leonov
The Flame Celebration Events in America will coincide with International Students’ Day festivities. The Torch will pass through top universities and colleges and will unite students from all over the world in the lead up to the World University Summer Games in Kazan.
Moscow, the capital of Russia, will welcome the Universiade Torch Relay back to Russia in December 2012. By that time the Flame will have been carried through five continents. It will be handed over for storage to the Lomonosov Moscow State University where it will be kept until the start of the Russian phase of the Universiade Torch Relay in 2013.
The first torch bearer
The Universiade Torch Relay’s journey across Russia will cover 30,000 kilometres. Travelling from west to east, the Flame will be carried through Russia’s 27 top university centres: Arkhangelsk, Rostov-on-Don, Pyatigorsk, Sochi, Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Tyumen, Ekaterinburg, Izhevsk, Perm, Ufa, Orenburg, Samara, Ulyanovsk, Saratov, Penza, Saransk, Nizhny Novgorod, Cheboksary, Yoshkar-Ola, Kirov, St. Petersburg, Moscow. The Universiade Torch Relay will come to an end on July 6th, 2013 during the solemn Opening Ceremony of the 27th Summer Universiade.
The FISU flame ready for the road!
(Source: Media Department of Kazan 2013 Executive Committee – Photos: C. Pierre/FISU)Read more