The eighth week of the 123-day Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay ended in Kemerovo, the Russian industrial city and administrative centre of Kemerovo Oblast, when Olympic 1984 skating bronze medallist Natalya Shive lit the city cauldron to end the two-day Kuzbass stage of the relay.
The flame had earlier been carried through the administrative centre of the region by the former world heavyweight boxing champion Nikolai Valuev, who later admitted he had tried to run slowly in order to maximise his enjoyment of carrying the Olympic flame..
"I can choose the style of boxing, but not running. I ran these complicated two hundred meters slowly, with feeling, wit and punctuation, prolonging the pleasure", Valuev, 40, later recalled.
The 2.11m tall former WBA world champion handed the flame onto another former boxer, flyweight Yuri Arbachacov, who was followed by 1988 Olympic race walking champion Vyacheslav Ivanenko, before Shive completed the leg.
Earlier in the week, the Olympic flame had been raced down a ski slope in the Bobroviy Log fun park in Divnogorsk by Russian Olympic team skier Evgeny Lisitsa during the journey through the Krasnoyarsk region.
And there were colourful firework celebrations as the flame reached Abakan. The symbol of the Sochi Olympics went on the crest of the highest dam in Russia – the Sayano-Shushenskaya power plant – before journeying to Novokuznetsk and onto the capital of the republic of Tuva, Kyzyl.
The route has been designed to ensure that around 90 per cent of Russia’s population will be within an hour of the Relay at some stage, allowing approximately 130 million residents to participate in the event.
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