MOSCOW, November 3 (R-Sport) – The Olympic torch of the next year’s Sochi Winter Games reached the Russian tundra on Sunday as it journeys eastward through the wild expanses of the world's largest country.
Sochi Games organizing committee manager Andrei Chibisov was the only torchbearer to take the flame out into the freezing and treeless plain near Naryan-Mar, a town of 20,000 north of the Arctic Circle where the mercury has already plunged to minus 17 degrees Celsius.
“The vanguard of the relay team arrived in Naryan-Mar and decided to show the trademark of the Northern people,” Chibisov told R-Sport. “In order to do that, we went to tundra and carried out a procession with local reindeer herdsmen.”
On Monday, the relay will fly further east to Salekhard and then on to Khanty-Mansiysk in Western Siberia, where the flame will travel by deer sleigh.
The torch relay for the February 7-23 Games started on the Red Square in Moscow 28 days ago. It is to take in all of Russia's 83 regions on its record-breaking 56,000-kilometer trip.
In parallel side-projects, the Olympic flame was delivered to the North Pole for the first time in the movement's history, and an unlit torch is to fly to the international space station next week.