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After the flame-lighting ceremony in Olympia, the flame was relayed night and day for a week across Greece. The relay in Bulgaria lasted six days, passing by the country’s main historical and cultural monuments. During its passage through the city of Lovesh, the torch was taken to the residence of Georgi Ivanov, the first Bulgarian cosmonaut. The route through Romania went over the Friendship Bridge, which linked Bulgaria and Romania. Wrestler Dimitru Pirvulescu, a gold medallist in Rome in 1960, was the first Romanian torchbearer.
In Romania, the relay covered 89 cities and villages. In Bucharest, 40,000 people welcomed the flame in the Dynamo Stadium for the first stage of the relay in the country.
On 5 July, the flame arrived in the Soviet Union. It was handed to Soviet athletes on the bridge that separated Romania and the Soviet Union near the Moldovan village of Leuşeni.
On 18 July, the flame entered Moscow. An official ceremony was organised for the occasion on Sovietskaya Square where a cauldron was lit. From this cauldron other torches were lit on 20 July and taken by special railcars to the cities of Tallinn, Leningrad, Minsk and Kiev who were also hosting certain of the sports events.