The Olympic torch during the last couple of days has traveled through the Republic of Karelia, the north-western Russian region that differs with its traditions and culture, and then visited Novgorod the Great, another historic Russian city in the northern part of the country. Incider tells you about a colourful Karelian-Novgorod route of the Olympic Torch relay in its next review.
The Olympic cortege began the trip to Karelia on Monday, October 21. Relay’s participants have been on way for the whole day making only a short halt in Sazonovo village, Vologda region, staging an unexpected event for its residents. Sazonovo’s youth got into raptures by the entertainment program organized by Coca-Cola!
On Tuesday, the Olympic torch managed to recharge spiritually passing one of the most mystic places in Russia, the island of Kizhi. You can find unique wooden churches built there without a single nail, only with an ax and a chisel. The director of the local preserve museum Andrei Nelidov made a special gift to the Olympic Torch relay and all athletes from the Russian team – three mascotы of the Kizhi island symbolizing the Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (“Faster, Higher, Stronger”). The speed is represented by a sun rose-knot that decorates the wooden facades of local churches. The height is symbolized by a ploughshare, an element of the roof which protects houses from damage. And the strength is like a forged nail which should help to poke through all troubles on your way to a dream.
The city of Petrozavodsk, Karelian capital, met the participants of the relay with sun and frost that only lifted the spirits of the torchbearers higher. Almost every “Kiss of Fire” on the Lenin’s avenue, the main city road, has been decorated with amazing “alive figures” - silver and gold “statues”, depicting athletes, were welcoming the torchbearers. Later, on the square in front of the Republic’s National Museum, the statues came to life and arranged a real ball: they began to spin on the rollers charging the Olympic relay with their energy.
And on Wednesday the Olympic torch ride on a dog sled on the snow-covered road in Pryazha village. Torchbearer Valery Kononov, a participant of the Swamp football championship in Finland, drove a lap of honor around the stadium running Alaskan Huskies. In the nearby town Olonec five torchbearers carried the Olympic flame through the main streets handing the baton for the final stage to the Karelian Santa Claus. Pakkaine continued the job of his winter tales fellows - the Olympic torch has been greeted before by a Snow Maiden in Kostroma and the Russian Santa Claus from Veliky Ustyug riding Troika, a three-horse team, in Vologda with a torch in his hands. Karelian Christmas magician brought the torch to the city stadium where the hospitable crowd said goodbye to the Olympic torch and passed the relay’s baton to the Novgorod region.
The Olympic torch reached Novgorod the Great on Thursday. 87 torchbearers,
18 of which have gained the right to
carry the Olympic flame through the
Svetlana Krasnova, member of the youth club Kinchur for disabled people, was among the heroes of the Olympic Torch relay in Novgorod.
“I’ve dreamt to become a part of such unique event as the Olympic Torch Relay. I’ll remember this day all my life, and I’ll tell my family and friends about it. The Olympic flame has filled the whole city with its warmth. Thanks to Coca-Cola for the fact that I became a participant of the relay today!” Maria told Journey.Singer Irakli Pirtskhalava, artist Boris Nepomnyashchiy, Europe and world champion in acrobatics Elena Kirillova were among the celebrities of the relay in Novgorod. Every guest had an opportunity to make a photo with the real Olympic torch at the
Follow the movements of the Olympic torch in our next reports!