KUYUBYSHEV, Russia, December 8 (R-Sport) - Miss Russia 2013 melted Siberian hearts on Sunday as she carried the Olympic flame through a snowy settlement as part of the Sochi 2014 torch relay.
Elmira Abdrazakova, a 19-year-old brunette from nearby Mezhdurechensk, jogged through the town of Kuybyshev eight months after winning the Miss Russia crown.
“I’ve got a lot of positive emotions from the fact that people welcome you so warmly,” she said, adding that the reception had given her a rush of “extraordinary adrenalin.”
Adrazakova was a figure skater as a child before asthma forced her to give up sport, but said her favorite winter event in the February 7 to 23 Olympics would be skiing.
There was a touch of beauty and the beast to Sunday’s relay, with three-time Olympic super heavyweight wrestling gold medalist Alexander Karelin also taking part.
Karelin was named “The Experiment” for his vast stature and dominance of Greco-Roman wrestling, winning gold for the Soviet Union at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, for the post-Soviet Unified Team at Barcelona 1992 and for Russia in Atlanta four years later.
The two personalities carried the torch the day after a 101-year-old table tennis player set the record as the oldest torchbearer in Olympic history.
Alexander Kaptarenko, born in St. Petersburg in 1912, rehearsed for the 200-meter run through Novosibirsk by running with a frozen fish. He covered the distance with no reported problems on Saturday.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic torch relay began on Red Square in Moscow on October 7. Around 14,000 torchbearers are taking part in a record 56,000km journey that is to end in the Black Sea resort for the opening ceremony on February 7.