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Sochi Paralympic Flame Lit in St. Petersburg

© RIA Novosti . Igor Russak / Go to the mediabankThe flame for the Sochi Paralympics was lit Saturday during a ceremony in St. Petersburg
The flame for the Sochi Paralympics was lit Saturday during a ceremony in St. Petersburg - Sputnik International
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The flame for the Sochi Paralympics was lit Saturday during a ceremony in St. Petersburg.

MOSCOW, March 1 (R-Sport) - The flame for the Sochi Paralympics was lit Saturday during a ceremony in St. Petersburg.

Set to pass through all eight of Russia's federal districts, the Sochi 2014 Paralympic torch relay began in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on February 26. Its journey ends March 7 with the opening ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on Russia's Black Sea coast.

Among those who took part in the lighting ceremony in St. Petersburg were 1964 Olympic fencing champion Boris Melnikov and 1992 gold medal swimmer Dmitry Lepikov. Two visually impaired Paralympic champions from the London 2012 Games, middle distance runner Yevgeny Shvetsov and 100m sprinter Fyodor Trikolich, also took part.

Russia is a powerhouse of the Paralympic movement, trailing only China at London 2012 and Germany at the last Winter Games in Vancouver in 2012.

The Paralympic torch relay differs from the Olympic torch relay insofar as the Paralympic flame is lit simultaneously in several cities and unified into a single flame before the opening ceremony. The Paralympic relay is also shorter.

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