Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay enjoys stunning first week
The first week of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay drew to a close on Sunday, following seven days of excited celebrations as the Olympic flame made its way from Moscow to Kaluga, cheered on by thousands of Olympic fans.
The 123-day relay – which will end at the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi on 7 February – began in Moscow on Monday 7 October, with more than 120,000 people lining the streets during the Olympic flame’s two-day journey around the city.
Torchbearers in Moscow included two-time Olympic gymnastics champion Svetlana Khorkina, IOC Member Prince Albert II of Monaco, and legendary Soviet ice hockey player Vladislav Tretyak, with the Olympic flame visiting several famous landmarks, including the Kremlin and Red Square, as well as taking a trip on the city’s subway.
The Olympic Torch Relay then moved on to the towns of Kolomna, Odintsovo, Arkhangelskoe, Krasnogorsk and Dmitrov, with 198 Torchbearers covering 43km on day four, as it travelled by motorbike, snowboard and even by horseback.
The day also saw figure skater Elizaveta Kazelina, who participated in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, skate across an ice arena with the torch, while Roman Tyutyunnik wakeboarded with the Olympic flame across the Moskva River and Aleksei Kostin skied with it down an indoor ski slope.
As the relay continued into the Tver region on day five, the Olympic flame visited the historic town of Torzhok, where Torchbearers included pilot Alex Glebkin, who said: “This is an unbelievable experience!”
The Olympic Torch Relay then continued on to the regional capital, Tver, where it was met by almost 200,000 people who were eager to see the Olympic flame sail down the Volga River by dragon boat, accompanied by a fleet of 150 kayaks and canoes.
The following day, the relay passed through Rzhev, where Pavel Skvortsov, a member of the city's wheelchair club, was the first Torchbearer.
"I thank those who entrusted me to be the first to carry the Olympic flame through the streets of my hometown,” he said.
Once the Olympic flame arrived in Smolensk, it was carried through the city by Olympic and European hammer champion Olga Kuzenkova, Olympic biathlete Nadezhda Talanova, and Russian actor Alexander Shakurov.
The week concluded in the Kaluga region, where the Olympic flame was carried on horseback by students from the local equestrian team, who then passed it to a team of rowers, who carried the torch across the Yanchevskaya reservoir.
The relay is now set to continue its journey around Russia, as it visits every region of the country on its way to the Opening Ceremony of Sochi 2014.
The route has been designed to ensure that around 90% 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.
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/