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27 May 2013 | in Multisports, Summer FISU World University Games

Crowds gather to welcome Universiade Torch Relay to Rostov-on-Don

ROSTOV-ON-DON - The administrative centre of the Southern Federal District gave a warm welcome to the Flame of the 27th Summer Universiade as the Torch Relay arrived in Rostov-on-Don on May 26th. Students of this Russian city are given the opportunity to see with their own eyes the symbol of the world university sports movement while it stays at Southern Federal University.

The symbol of the World University Games arrived in Rostov-on-Don from Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Olympic Games, where the Torch Relay had been held the day before. The length of the Relay in the administrative centre of the Southern Federal District totalled 3,600 metres. The honour of running with the Torch past the city's landmarks and tourist hot spots was given to the best students of the region, famous athletes, as well as representatives of the Kazan 2013 SU's partner companies. A total of 37 Torchbearers ensured the Flame made its way through the city and was used to ignite the City Cauldron in Rostov-on-Don. 

The ceremonial lighting of the first runner's torch, which took place in the square in front of Don State Technical University (DSTU), was attended by Deputy Governor of the Rostov Oblast Igor Guskov; Mayor of Rostov-on-Don Mikhail Chernyshev; Deputy Director General of the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate and Executive Director of the Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies Igor Sivov; Rector of DSTU Besarion Meskhi, as well as Vice-President of the Russian Students Sports Union (RSSU) and Chairman of the Regional Office of RSSU Roman Olkhovsky, who became the first Torchbearer to carry the Universiade Flame in Rostov-on-Don. 

"Not so many cities were awarded the right to host the Universiade Torch Relay and Rostov-on-Don is among them," said Mikhail Chernyshev. "I'm sure that our student-athletes will show a good performance at the Universiade in Kazan. We have all grounds to say that Rostov-on-Don is a sports city: more than a quarter of the population are engaged in sports activities and the Mayor's Office invests much time and energy in developing Rostov-on-Don's sports infrastructure."

The Relay's route passed through the main streets of the city, as well as the squares in front of higher education institutions of Rostov-on-Don, including Rostov State University of Economics (RSUE) and Southern Federal University (SFedU). 

The Torch Relay finished in Teatralnaya Square in front of the Academic Drama Theatre named after M.Gorky where the City Cauldron was lit. The honour of kindling it was granted to the final Torchbearer, the 2004 Olympic rowing champion Nikolay Spinev. 

"The Universiade and the Olympic Games are not only about state-of-the-art infrastructure constructed especially for these events in these cities, but first of all about citizens' emotions and feelings! The most beautiful and valuable thing the Flame is rewarded with when it travels through cities is people's smiles," Igor Sivov said in his welcome speech. 

"Today Rostov-on-Don is greeting the Universiade Flame. Let your hearts always burn with this flame. I wish the Russian national team success and victories!" said Marina Borovskaya, Rector of SFedU, one of partner higher education institutions of the 2013 Summer Universiade. 

Citizens of Rostov-on-Don will be able to see the Universiade Flame at SFedU where it will stay until May 27 following which the Torch Relay will head to St. Petersburg with all celebrations unfolding there on May 29th. 


(Source: Kazan 2013 Media Dept.)