Universiade Flame travels through Main Streets of Arkhangelsk
ARKHANGELSK - The Russian leg of the Universiade Torch Relay continues. The Flame of the World University Games was carried along the streets of Arkhangelsk.
Arkhangelsk, home to Russian shipbuilding, has become the most northern of the 30 cities included in the Universiade Torch Relay route. Celebrations began in front of the main building of Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) named after M.V. Lomonosov.
The opening ceremony for the Arkhangelsk leg of the Relay was attended by Deputy Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region for Regional Policies Sergey Kovalyov; Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan Sergey Ivanov; Mayor of Arkhangelsk Viktor Pavlenko; Chairman of the Arkhangelsk Regional Assembly of Deputies Vitaly Fortygin; NArFU's Rector Elena Kudryashova; representative of the General Partner of the 2013 Summer Universiade – MegaFon – Andrey Baleyevsky; Chairman of the Regional National and Cultural Autonomy of Tatars of the Arkhangelsk Region Rim Kalimullin.
Opening the tenth leg of the Relay across Russia, Sergey Kovalyov expressed gratitude to the Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate for the presented opportunity to welcome the Universiade Flame in Arkhangelsk, and he in particular said: "It is a great honour for the Arkhangelsk Region to welcome three Torch Relays this year: the Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics. I am sure that this Torch Relay's light will show many young athletes the path to new sports accomplishments and to the Arkhangelsk Region's glory!"
Sergey Ivanov welcomed the guests and participants of the Torch Relay on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan. He thanked the organisers of the Arkhangelsk leg for their hospitality and the work that they had done. At the end of his speech, the Deputy Minister presented Mayor of Arkhangelsk Viktor Pavlenko and NArFU's Rector Elena Kudryashova with replicas of the major symbol of this year's Universiade – the Torch of the 27th Summer Universiade.
The Universiade Torch Relay in Arkhangelsk was divided into 35 legs, and, during each of them, the Flame, which is a symbol of peace, friendship and students' unity, was carried by future participants in the Summer Universiade, renowned people of the city, representatives of the city's government, NArFU, volunteers and representatives of the 2013 Summer Universiade's partners.
Natalya Podolskaya, Master of Sport International Class in Canoe Sprint, member of the Russian national team, two-time silver medallist at the ICF Junior Canoe Sprint World Championships, is already preparing for the 2013 Summer Universiade together with other members of the Russian national squad at the Rowing Centre in Kazan: "I learnt about my participation in the Relay as a Torchbearer only last night on my arrival in Arkhangelsk, and, of course, I accepted the invitation to be a Torchbearer with pleasure. It is a great honour to contribute to such a significant global event that is taking place in my home city!"
Following the tradition of travelling past iconic sights of each city, the Universiade Flame started off from the Monument to M.V.Lomonosov, proceeded along the picturesque embankment of the Northern Dvina River, past the Monument to Peter the Great, the Cape Pur-Navolok, St. Nicholas Church, the City of Military Glory Monument, the Eternal Flame, the Obelisk of the North, and ended its journey in front of the Lomonosov Drama Theatre.
The right to ignite the City Cauldron was given to Mayor of Arkhangelsk Viktor Pavlenko and NArFU's Rector Elena Kudryashova.
Kazan 2013 volunteers were also engaged in the organisation and staging of the Arkhangelsk leg of the Torch Relay. It is not before long that these guys will go to Kazan and join the 20,000-strong army of voluntary assistants, but in the meantime they are preparing to assist in their first sporting events of this year. Maria Kumbysheva, Director of the NArFU Volunteer Training Centre and Kazan 2013 volunteer, shared her impressions of the project: "Participation in the organisation of the Torch Relay gives us enormous experience and an opportunity to embrace the spirit of the Universiade even before it started, to become part of the all-Russian sports community and experience vivid emotions. Our university will be presented by 20 volunteers and 5 athletes, and, of course, all of us intend to be worthy representatives of our city and university!"
The Universiade Flame set off to the south of Russia and will travel through the streets of Stavropol next.