Olympic champions among Torchbearers as Sochi 2014 Torch relay continues
Olympic champions, Youth Olympic Games medallists and teenage chess stars were among the Torchbearers as the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay continued its journey across Russia over the past week.
The Olympic flame has now reached Astrakhan after visiting the Russian cities of Volgograd, Novocherkassk, Shakhty, Rostov-on-Don, Pyatigorsk, Stavropol, Elista and Yshkul.
Torchbearers in Volgograd included Beijing 2008 Olympic canoe sprint champion Maxim Opalev, figure skating gold medallist Maxim Marinin, Atlanta 1996 weightlifting gold medallist Alexey Petrov, handball players Anna Sedoykina and Oleg Grebnev, and Olympic swimming champions Larisa Ilchenko and Yevgeny Sadovyi.
In Shakhty, Torchbearers included Alexey Kosov – a silver medallist in weightlifting at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in 2010 – and Leonid Tyagachev, the President of the Russian Olympic Committee from 2001 to 2010.
In Rostov, it was the turn of Marina Logvinenko – the only woman to win two individual shooting gold medals during one Olympic Games – to run with the Olympic flame, while Olympic handball champion Igor Lavrov was given the honour of lighting the celebration cauldron in Stavropol.
In Elista, meanwhile, the youngest Torchbearer was 14-year-old Dinara Dordzhieva, one of the leading teenage chess players in the world, who has participated in world, European and Russian championships.
The relay will reach Makhachkala on 27 January before continuing its epic 123-day journey across Russia, which will culminate at the Opening Ceremony of Sochi 2014 on 7 February 2014.
The record-breaking 65,000km route has been designed to ensure that approximately 90% of Russia's population will be within an hour of the Relay at some stage, allowing around 130 million residents to participate in the event.
Find out more about the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners at http://torchrelay.sochi2014.com/en/Partners
More information on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay can be found at http://torchrelay.sochi2014.com/en/