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30 May 2013 | in Multisports, Summer Universiade

Universiade Flame lights up City on Neva River

SAINT-PETERSBURG - On 29 May, the Flame of the 27th Summer Universiade was welcomed by crowds of citizens of the Northern Capital of Russia, Saint-Petersburg, which became the 15th city on the Russian leg of the Universiade Torch Relay. In all, 32 Torchbearers carried the main symbol of the Summer Universiade through the streets and squares of the City on the Neva River.

A special train delivered the miner's lantern with the Flame inside to the Moskovsky Railway Station in Saint-Petersburg, where hundreds of bustling students and volunteers gathered to greet the main symbol of the 2013 Summer Universiade. Later, the Torch was transported for safe-keeping to the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, the starting point of the Torch Relay in Saint Petersburg.

“The Universiade Torch Relay's arrival in our city is a special event for all of us,” remarked Yury Avdeyev, Chairman of the Committee for Physical Culture and Sport of Saint Petersburg. “It’s a tremendous honour for Saint Petersburg to host the Relay and we hope it will be a success.”

“The Torch has been travelling around our country since January and today it’s arrived in the beautiful city of Saint-Petersburg,” commented Vladimir Leonov, Director General of the Executive Directorate of the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan. “I’d like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to come to Kazan for the Universiade, and I’d like our team to be supported by fans from all over Russia.”

The route of the Torch Relay in Saint-Petersburg took in the city’s famous avenues such as Nevsky, Admiralteysky and Voznesensky Prospekts, the architectural monuments such as Kazan and St. Isaac’s Cathedrals, as well as the city’s major universities - the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia and the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health (NSU named after P.F. Lesgaft), in whose stadium the City Cauldron was lit. The total length of the Relay was 3,800 metres, along which 32 Torchbearers - the city’s top students, members of the government, famous athletes, volunteers and representatives of youth organisations, as well as representatives of the Kazan 2013 SU's partner companies - passed the Torch from one to another, and the flame was finally lit not only in the City Cauldron, but also in the hearts of citizens of the Northern Capital of Russia. The three-time Olympic champion, seven-time world champion, and Merited Master of Sports of the USSR in Artistic Gymnastics, Alexander Dityatin, had the honour of being the first person to carry the Torch. 

Vladimir Leonov

“We had a very warm welcome: passers-by were shouting, smiling and waving flags. Everyone was very happy, after all it was a special day for the city!” Torchbearer Darya Kravchenko shared her impressions. “The smile is still on my face, and my heart is still pounding! When you’re holding the Torch, you’re not afraid of doing anything wrong, after all you’re taking pleasure in carrying it, nothing

The culmination of the Torch Relay in Saint Petersburg was the lighting of the City Cauldron in the stadium of the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Culture, Sport and Health. The ceremony was attended by Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation Vitaly Mutko, FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien, Minister of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tartarstan Rafis Burganov, President of the Russian Students Sports Union (RSSU) Oleg Matytsin, Director General of the Executive Directorate of the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan Vladimir Leonov, Russian State Duma deputy Marat Bariev, Rector of the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia Valery Solomin, PR Director of the North-West Branch of OAO MegaFon Alexander Tsypkin, and also Rector of the NSU named after P.F. Lesgaft Vladimir Taymazov.

Rafis Burganov

“The Universiade is a momentous event in the life of our country,” said Vitaly Mutko, “We’ve done a tremendous piece of work, to which the entire country has contributed. Kazan today is a modern city with a brilliant sports infrastructure. A lot of sports facilities, a state-of-the-art student campus, two universities, an airport and new underground stations were constructed in the build-up to the Universiade. And all this is thanks to the great student festival - the World University Games.”

Rafis Burganov thanked the city’s Mayor and his Office on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan for an excellent organisation of the Torch Relay in Saint Petersburg. “The Universiade Relay has covered a huge distance: it has crossed 5 continents. There are a few dozen cities remaining before the Flame takes its legitimate place in the central cauldron of the new football stadium in Kazan. It is, of course, everyone’s wish that the Russian national team performs at its very best, and that it finishes on top of the final medal table. We wish the Russian team victory at the Universiade!”

At the end of the ceremony, Oleg Matytsin presented Valery Solomin and Vladimir Taymazov, Rectors of St. Petersburg's two major universities, with replicas of the 2013 Summer Universiade Torch.

The Torch has been transferred for safe-keeping to the NSU named after P.F. Lesgaft, where it will stay until 31 May. After that it will head to the next city on the route of the Torch Relay, Vladimir, which will be hosting the event on 1 June.

 

(Source: Kazan 2013 Media Dept.)

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