MOSCOW, January 24 (R-Sport) – Former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Aleksey Morozov will become the first person to carry the torch of the University Games through Russia, organizers announced Thursday.
The Universiade torch relay began in Paris in July and will set a new record for the Games, as 2013 torchbearers visit 54 cities and 50 universities, covering a distance of more than 150,000 kilometers.
The start of the Russian leg of the torch relay is Friday in the Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok. It will finish in the host city of Kazan, in the central Tatarstan region, on July 6.
“It is an honor for me to bear the Universiade torch,” Ak Bars Kazan captain Morozov said on the Games website. “Ice hockey is not included in the sports represented at the Summer Games, but I’m happy to be involved in this important event.”
The list of torchbearers also includes such prominent athletes as former world No. 1 tennis player Dinara Safina, Olympic silver medalists fencer Kamilla Gafurzianova and volleyball player Yekaterina Gamova.
The flame was brought to Vladivostok on Thursday by plane after getting stranded on a sailing boat in the stormy South China Sea.
The XXVII Summer University Games are July 6-17.