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

Universiade Flame receives Rapturous Reception in 2014 Olympics Host City

SOCHI - On May 25th, the citizens of the future host city of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games welcomed the main symbol of the World University Games – the Universiade Flame. The people of Sochi warmly greeted the Torch Relay team with applause, songs and bread-and-salt. The Universiade Flame arrived in the resort city by train from Pyatigorsk, where the Torch Relay had been held just the day before.

The route of the Universiade Torch Relay in Sochi was 2,000 metres long. It started off in front of the Winter Theatre, and this is where the first torch of the Sochi leg of the Relay was lit. The solemn ceremony was attended by Minister of Physical Culture and Sport of the Krasnodar Krai, Merited Master of Sport, Olympic champion Lyudmila Chernova; Mayor of Sochi Anatoly Pakhomov; Minister of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan Rafis Burganov; Deputy Director General of the Executive Directorate of the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan, Executive Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies Igor Sivov; Deputy Head of Kazan's Executive Committee on Social Affairs Leyla Fazleyeva; Deputy Director General of the Executive Directorate of the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan Larisa Sulima; as well as Krasnodar Krai Legislative Assembly deputy Viktor Teplyakov.

"We've been taking good care of the Flame handing it over from one city to another. Today, we are very pleased to bring the main symbol of the Universiade to Sochi from Pyatigorsk," Vladimir Zhemer, one of the Flame Keepers of the 2013 Summer Universiade said. "It is a great honour for us to take part in the ceremony of handing the Universiade Flame over to your city as the Flame is a symbol of peace, friendship and student solidarity."

On behalf of the Organising Committee of the World University Games, the people of Sochi were greeted by Larisa Sulima: "On 25 January, Student's Day, the Flame started its journey across Russia in the easternmost city of our country, Vladivostok, and today, exactly 4 months later, it has arrived in Sochi. 42 days from now, the Universiade Flame will be lit in Kazan, and we will turn into the world's capital of university sport. Welcome to Kazan! Let's cheer on the Russian national team at the Universiade!"

"I'm happy that I've been selected as a Torchbearer. It is very important for me, and it is a great honour. I will be going to the Universiade in Kazan: it will be nice to cheer on our national team in the athletics competitions," shared his impressions Eduard Protsenko.

The Torch Relay went down Kurortny Avenue, passed the clock which counts down the time to the start of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and finished in the square in front of the Sea Port. Here, the last Torchbearer Alexei Voyevoda, a bobsledder and repeat Olympic Games medallist, kindled the City Cauldron.

Alexei Voyevoda ignites the City Cauldron

"Today we have witnessed a very important event – the arrival of the Universiade Flame in Sochi. Representatives of our city will be also taking part in the Universiade in Kazan: those boys and girls who study with you and do sports are preparing today to defend the country's honour at the Universiade. I hope that the athletes of the Krasnodar Krai will show their best performance in Kazan," noted Lyudmila Chernova.

Rafis Burganov thanked the region for an excellent organisation of the Relay. "It is not long before the Universiade in Kazan and the Olympic Games in Sochi will start. I wish Kazan and Sochi to prepare well for these large-scale sports events and to make them a success," underlined Rafis Burganov. "We wish our national teams gold triumph at both the Universiade and the Olympic Games."

Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov receives a Torch's replica

"The Universiades and the Olympic Games are held not only with the purpose of contributing to the cities' infrastructures. They are also held so that the people who live in these cities and regions could consolidate. Today, we are in your beautiful city, and we can see that its citizens are ready for the Olympics. Thank you for coming out on the streets today to welcome the Universiade Flame and to support our athletes!" noted Igor Sivov.

The next city of the Relay's Russian leg, is Rostov-on-Don.


(Source: Kazan 2013 Media Dept.)