The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch has a ride on a troika
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay was welcomed by the residents of the Penza region. The main participants in the Olympic parade in Penza were 205 torchbearers, and together they covered a 39.2 km distance. Among the Olympic torchbearers were the nominees of the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay Presenting Partners: Coca-Cola, OSAO Ingosstrakh and OAO Russian Railways.
On the banks of the Sura river, the Olympic flame arrived on the Sochi 2014 Relay brand train number 701 from Saransk. On the railway station's platform, the Fire Keepers were met by the governor of the Penza region Vasily Bochkarev and the Mayor of Penza Roman Chernov.
Irina Bazhina, Moscow Olympics-80 champion in diving from a three-meter springboard, lit her Torch on stage in front of an audience of hundreds of spectators. She was lucky to be Penza's first torchbearer, in whose hands the Olympic Flame went on a journey through the city's streets and avenues.
The torchbearers ran at the monument to the first settlers - one of the most significant monuments of Penza, its trade mark, which is depicted on souvenirs. The monument comprises a first settler with a horse, and symbolizes an important moment in Penza's the life - the defence of the south-eastern borders of the Russian state from the raids of nomads, thanks to which, the city, built from a wooden fortress was founded.
Today Penza's sports glory Penza was proven by Olympic champions, famous swimmers and water divers, as well as other athletes, honoured teachers, sports veterans, cultural and public personalities: The Olympic champion in diving Igor Lukashin, master of sport of triathlon Anatsasiya Gorbunova, swimming coach Natalia Kozlova, multiple winner of World Championships in Athletics Championships Yuri Sarayev, rugby player Roman Khodin, World and European champion in sambo Susanna Mirzoyan, Olympic bronze medallist in Race Walking Alexei Voevodin.
From the railway station, the Olympic procession passed through the main streets and the Burtasy Sports Palace, one of the leading centers for training athletes in rhythmic and artistic gymnastics.
As part of the Sochi 2014 Relay, an Olympic lesson for the young athletes was held in the arena complex, during which they learned about the history of the Olympic movement and its symbols, including the Olympic Flame. The lesson was embellished by the gymnasts who lined up forming five Olympic rings and pleased the audience with their spectacular performing of the gymnastic elements.
The brightest phase of the Sochi 2014 Relay passed along the Olympic alley - this green corner of the city is a favourite destination for rest of the townspeople, as well as hiking, skiing and cycling. On the alley of winter trees dusted with frost, Victoria Panurina, Head of the Zavivalovsky stud farm, held the Olympic Torch in her hands. She rode her 250 meter on a sleigh pulled by a troika of white Orlov trotters . The Flame, having become a part of Penza's history, today touched the Russian history: it is this famous troika, which was rushing forward in the caption of the Vesti newscast for a long time.
From the alley, the Olympic cortège moved toward the Diesel- arena sports complex where the Sochi 2014 Relay festive day ended. The Fire Bowl mounted on the stage of the arena, was lit by Anastasia Fesikova - silver medallist in the 2012 Olympic Games, the European record holder in backstroke.
More than 5 000 000 spectators watched this large-scale spectacle. The Bowl of Fire, which has become a memorable symbol for Penza, will remain in the city forever, thanks to the Olympic Torch Relay Presenting partner OSAO Ingosstrakh.
On the 11th of January the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay will visit the Saratov region.
For further information, please contact the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay Communications Service at sochi2014.com, OGON@sochi2014.com, or +7 495 984 2014.
As a service to our readers, Around the Rings will provide verbatim texts of selected press releases issued by Olympic-related organizations, federations, businesses and sponsors.
These press releases appear as sent to Around the Rings and are not edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation.
20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is www.aroundtherings.com, for subscribers only.