aroundtherings.com: Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay in Tomsk
- 01.12.2013 (15:00 - 20:45)
- Events of Relay
On the first day of winter, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay was held in Tomsk. The heroes of the 55th Olympic Torch Relay Day were 100 torchbearers who covered a total distance of 19.4 km. Among the Olympic torchbearers were nominees of the Presenting Partners of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay: the Coca-Cola Company, OSAO "Ingosstrakh" and OAO "Russian Railways."
The Olympic Torch Relay's special train brought the Olympic Flame to the Tomsk train station. The right to light the first Olympic Torch in the city's Relay leg went to Anton Golotsutskov, a medalist at the Beijing Olympics in gymnastics.
Paralympians Elena Saprygina and Oleg Sharepa took the Torch at the Harmony sports complex. They passed the Olympic Flame to each other in the very center of the stadium arena where they were greeted by impressive dancing from a Tomsk creative group. Afterwards, especially for the many spectators who could not see the Olympic Flame inside the closed stadium and who had gathered outside the complex, Keepers of the Flame welcomed the Torch and for the first time in the whole Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay re-lit the torch for Oleg Sharepa outside on the square near the stadium.
On the streets of Tomsk, founded in the 17th century as a fortress and later becoming an important trading and industrial port, many reconstructions carried participants and guests of the Olympic event to an atmosphere of life in the old Russian empire. Running against this backdrop of historical reconstructions, torchbearers journeyed through several epochs in just a short time. At one of these stages, the Relay Motorcade added new modes of transportation: old wagons and mail carriages which often ran along the Irkutsk track - an important route connecting cities of Siberia, the Far East, and Asia. Further along the torchbearers' journey, a picture of life in an 18th century Siberian city was recreated: blacksmiths, horseshoers, hot sbiten, fist fights and games in the "small town." Later the backdrop for the Olympic procession was a 19th century retro ice skating rink, after which the Olympic procession shouted three times "Hurray!" to greet the guard soldiers.
On the evening of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, the torch was taken by Vasily Omelchenko, a Master of Sport in powerlifting in the international class, and multiple European and Russian championships medalist. He played the role of rider on this day: on horseback he raised his Olympic Torch to the top of Resurrection Hill, passing the Olympic Flame to athlete Anastasiya Zolotaryova.
Tomsk, the first student city in Siberia and a true center of student life, proved its unofficial title. Thousands of students took to the streets to see the Olympic Flame, lit in Ancient Olympia. A notable difference in the city stage was big bright orange paper hearts in colors of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, which Tomsk youth waved to greet the torchbearers. In total, 90,000 people welcomed the Olympic Flameon the 1st of December, 30,000 of whom attended only the final celebration.
The final torchbearer to complete the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay in Tomsk was Natalia Baranova, an Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing. She lit the Cauldron with her Olympic Flame, which the day before was given to the city by the Presenting Party of the Olympic Torch Relay, OSAO "Ingosstrakh."
The Olympic Torch Relay will be welcomed in Altai Region next.