5 October 2013, 11:48

Moscow in expectation of Olympic torch

On Friday, the Olympic torch was taken to the Acropolis of Athens. This Saturday, the torch will cover the last leg, from the Acropolis to the Panathinaikos Stadium in the Greek capital. On Sunday, the torch is due to be flown to Moscow, so the Sochi-2014 Olympic torch relay could start in Russia.

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© Photo: EPA

In Greece, the Sochi Olympic torch relay started in the land of ancient Olympia, on the Peloponnese Peninsula, on September 29th and was taken along a 2000-kilometre route across Greece by almost 300 torch-bearers. One of the torch-bearers was the 2004 sailing champion of the Athens Olympics and the 2008 bronze medalist of the Beijing Olympics, Sophia Bekatoru of Greece. She was running with her little baby in a baby-carrier bag.

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© Photo: EPA

The Senior Counsellor of the Russian Embassy to Athens, Vladimir Maistrenko, said the relay in Greece had proved impeccable, with hundreds of Greeks welcoming the flame all along the route.

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© Photo: EPA

There are also five Russian torch-bearers in Greece. The official ceremony of handing over the Olympic flame to the organizers of the Sochi-2014 Olympics is due at the historical stadium of Panathinaikos in Athens tonight. The stadium was the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

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© Photo: EPA

According to the president of the Sochi-2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, some 90% of Russian residents will be able to reach the route of the Olympic torch relay in Russia in a matter of an hour. The route of the relay crosses 83 territorial entities of the Russian Federation.

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© Photo: EPA

He added that the torch-bearers will run; use Russian troikas, dog sleds, deer-drawn sleighs, snowmobiles, air-balloons, aircraft and trains as they follow the route. In Russia, the Olympic torch will be taken under water in Lake Baikal, and to the top of Europe’s highest peak, Mount Eblrus, Chernyshenko said.

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© Photo: EPA

He also pointed out that the torch will, besides, be taken to the North Pole aboard a nuclear-powered icebreaker, while the Sochi Olympic cauldron will be lit by the flame that will prior to this travel in outer space.

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© Photo: EPA

According to Chernyshenko, Russia is honoured to receive the Olympic flame that’s been lit in ancient Olympia because the flame is a powerful symbol of peace, unity and humanity.

Olympic Flame receives warm welcome across Greece

Thousands of people have welcomed the Olympic Flame as it makes its way across Greece as part of the Greek leg of theSochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay.

Following the traditional Lighting Ceremony in Ancient Olympia, which was held on 29 September, the Olympic Flame made its first stop in Amaliada before visiting Ancient Ilida, Pyrgos, Zaharo, Tripolis, Levidi and Klitoria. The Flame then finished the day in Kalavryta, on the bank of the river Vouraiko.

The following day, the Relay passed through Patras, on the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, where Torchbearers included Greek water polo player Angeliki Gerolymou, who competed in the 2008 Olympic Games, and swimmer Nora Drakou, who represented Greece in the 2012 Olympic Games.

After leaving Patras, the Flame then crossed the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge – the world's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridge, before passing through Mesologgi, where it was cheered by hundreds of schoolchildren.

After a brief stop in Karpenisi, at the foot of Mount Velouchi, which is one of the best ski resorts in Greece, the Flame’s journey continued on to Lamia, which was named after the mythical daughter of Poseidon, and Volos, where Torchbearers included Greek cross-country skier Dimitris Kyriazis.

A welcome ceremony was then held in Katerini, where the Flame was greeted by thousands of schoolchildren waving Greek and Russian flags.

The following day, huge crowds turned out in Thessaloniki as the Flame made its way to the city’s Olympic Museum, where Torchbearers included Greek biathlete and cross-country skier Thanassis Tsakiris – who represented Greece at the 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998, and 2010 Winter Games.

The Greek leg of the Relay is set to finish on 5 October in Athens, the site of the first modern Olympic Games, where the official Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony will take place.

It will then travel to Moscow for the start of its 123-day journey across Russia, which will end at the Sochi 2014 Opening Ceremony on 7 February.

Voice of Russia, Olympic.org, TASS, RIA

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