Troika journey among Torch Relay’s second-week highlights
The Olympic flame’s journey on board a traditional Russian troika sled was among the highlights of the second week of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay. The troika ride, which took place in Kostroma on day 12 of the 163-day relay, marked the first time that the relay route had encountered snow on its journey to the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
The second week of the relay began in Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula region, where the flame was carried around the family estate of renowned Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, where he wrote novels such as "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina". Torchbearers on the estate included Tolstoy’s great-great-grandson, Vladimir, as well as members of Yasnaya Polyana's literary scene.
When the flame reached the regional capital, Tula, it was carried by four Torchbearers who had taken part in the Torch Relay for the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games – Victor Gavrilov, Nadezhda Kozyakova, Victor Filimonov, and Vladimir Panin.
The relay then continued on through Ryazan, Murom, Vladimir, Suzdal Ivanovo, and Plyos, with Torchbearers along the way including world kickboxing champion Olga Shuvalova, Olympic judo medallist Ivan Nifontov and Russian TV star Andrey Karaulov.
Following the flame’s troika ride in Kostroma, the relay passed through Yaroslavl and Vologda, with Torchbearers including Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to have flown in space, and the popular Russian fairy-tale character Father Frost.
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.
More information on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay can be found at http://torchrelay.sochi2014.com/en/