The Olympic Torch Relay goes on, and is now passing through the ancient cities and towns in the historical heart of Russia. The organizers have decided to use the theme of old Russian tradition “to the hilt.” To find out how the Olympic Flame was carried through the Golden Ring of Russia, see our reportage

On Wednesday, October 16, the Olympic train reached the Vladimir Region. The first town of the region to see the lit Olympic Torch of Sochi was the ancient Murom, which turned 1150 years old last year. The legendary Russian bogatyr knight Ilya Muromets together with more than 10,000 local residents greeted the Torchbearers by the Peter and Fevronia monument by the walls of the St. Trinity Monastery. The Olympic Flame then was transferred to a Ladya galley-style paddleboat to cover 600 meters of the Oka River in the hands of Torchbearer Dmitry Kabanov.

The rainy weather that settled over historical central Russia did nothing to scare off the residents of Vladimir: thousands came out into the streets to welcome the Olympic Flame. City Mayor Andrei Shokhin was the first Torchbearer to carry the Flame in Vladimir. A team of Coca-Cola System employees carried the Olympic Flame in one of the Vladimir slots. The Flame was carried past the key attractions of the city: the Golden Gate, the Mother of God Christmas Monastery, the Archangel Michael Church, ending this segment of the relay in the Cathedral Square.

The Olympic Flame reached Suzdal, one of the prettiest and oldest towns of the Golden Ring, on Thursday, October 17. One of the volunteers lit the first Olympic Torch of the Suzdal leg of the relay from a luchina – a traditional Russian woodchip candle – to the sounds of Maginificat songs performed by a Russian folk group. Olga Shuvalova, the World and ten-times Russian kickboxing champion, was the first to carry the Olympic Flame in Suzdal.

Thirty-five Torchbearers took turns carrying the Olympic Flame a total of seven kilometres through the streets of Suzdal. Second-year student of the Vyksa Metallurgy Technical School Ivan Burmistrov, a winner of the Coca-Cole. Carry the Olympic Flame. Vlivaisya! contest, carried the Olympic Flame in the 20th slot.

Everything was top-notch, according to Ivan. “Words fail to describe my impressions, the emotions are overwhelming!” he wrote later on his VKontakte social media page.

The “city of brides” Ivanovo welcomed the Torch Relay on the same day. The Torchbearers and other participants were greeted by a group of young women wearing print dresses – a trademark product of the local garment factories. The main Olympic symbol was entrusted to the hands of 100 residents of the Ivanovo Region — famous athletes, Paralympians and sports veterans. The relay segment was more than 20 kilometers long overall. Track-and-field international master, participant in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games Maria Sizyakova was the first Torchbearer to carry the Olympic Flame in Ivanovo.

Today, the Olympic Torch Relay moves on to the Vologda Region. Read the Journey report next week for full details!