Published on : Monday, January 6, 2014
233 torchbearers, succeeding one another on a route of 50.4 km, carried the Olympic flame through the capital of the Kama region. Among the Olympic torchbearers were nominees of the Presenting Partners of the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay: the Coca-Cola Company, OSAO “Ingosstrakh” and OAO “Russian Railways”.
The first torchbearer of the city phase, Sergey Kushchenko, ran his distance with the Torch in hand from the area by the railway station. Kushchenko is the senior vice president of the International Biathlon Union and the executive director of the Russian Biathlon Union. Before the start, he remarked that he was dedicating his run to the memory of his good friend, Olympic champion and famous basketball player and coach Sergey Belov – in 1980 he was the one to light the Olympic Cauldron in Luzhniki on the threshold of the Moscow Olympics. On Day 89 of the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay, the temperature in the city went down to 30 degrees below 0. The main heroes of the Olympic procession held the Torch high above their heads. Around 83,000 residents and guests of Perm saw the Olympic flame in person in Perm.
Among the torchbearers for the capital of the Kama region were athletes, teachers, doctors, artists, writers, schoolchildren and college students. The Olympic flame of the Sochi Games was passed along by eight-time champion of the Deaflympics Sergey Tishchenko, president of the Handball Federation of Russia Vladimir Nelyubin and two-time Olympic handball champion Alexander Tuchkin, titled Paralympic skiers Lyubov Paninykh, Nadezhda Chirkova, and Taras Kryzhanovsky, mayor of Perm Igor Sapko, seven-time world biathlon champion Venera Chernyshova, Olympic champion and biathlete Vladimir Alikin, and halfback for the “Zenit” soccer club Konstantin Zyryanov.
At one of the phases, the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay made a stop by the office of OSAO “Ingosstrakh”. Torchbearer Alexey Sokolov, deputy executive director of “Ingosstrakh” and head of the Olympic headquarters of the insurance company, which is a Presenting Partner of the national Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, ran his phase together with his wife and young son, and he then ascended onto the stage and said a few words of greeting to the public. The ceremonial celebration continued with a performance by a dance flash mob and songs about sports and the Olympic Games in Russian and French. Later, teachers and students from a school with intensive foreign language studies received the Torch Relay on stage; they ran with the Olympic torch in a group slot past their home school.
The Sochi 2014 Torch Relay route went past significant architectural and sculptural objects of Perm: the Art Gallery, the Tchaikovsky Theater of Opera and Ballet, a monument to soldier liberators, and parks and squares decorated with Christmas trees and holiday garlands. Since Soviet times, Perm has been renowned for its ballet traditions; the Perm Theater of Opera and Ballet is considered one of the best in Russia. Ballerina Elena Kulagina, a legend in Perm ballet, carried the Olympic flame against a backdrop of one of the city’s important symbols – the wooden letter “P”. The monument, a 3-dimensional letter “P”, was constructed not far from the Kama River and consists entirely of wooden bars, symbolizing that the Perm region is rich in timber, which previously floated down the large Ural River.
In the ice village torchbearers ran through the village pathway beside ice mascots of the XXII Olympic Games – the polar bear, hare and leopard, and also beside figures of winter sport athletes, making a stop by the bright Olympic rings.
In the final meters, the Olympic procession reached the central square, where for several hours prior, a large-scale city celebration unfolded. Perm residents, awaiting the arrival of the Olympic flame, took part in setting an unusual record – together, they ate 50,000 pelmeni (Russian ravioli) handmade by local chefs! After eating the traditional Ural dish, the spectators became witnesses to the culminating moment of the Olympic Torch Relay. The final torchbearer went on stage – governor of the Perm region, Viktor Basargin. He lit the Cauldron, which will always remain as a token to the city to symbolize its participation in the record-breaking Olympic Torch Relay, thanks to Presenting Partner of the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay, OSAO “Ingosstrakh”.
On the 5th of January the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay will arrive in the Kirov district.