Summer Universiade - Universiade torch takes in visit to Krasnoyarsk

The 27th Summer Universiade flame has visited the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, the fourth port of call on Russian soil for the torch relay.

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Summer Universiade  - Universiade torch takes in visit to Krasnoyarsk
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Rafis Burganov, Minister of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan holds the 27th Summer Universiade Flame torch with Russian Deputy Minister of Sports Natalia Parshikova

The flame had previously been stored at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, where over 35,000 people came to visit during its three-week stay there.

Krasnoyarsk, one of the bidders to host the 2019 Winter Universiade, welcomed the flame on April 20.

The flame's route through Krasnoyarsk was one of the longest of its journey towards Kazan, and included stops at several universities: the Siberian State Technological University, the Krasnoyarsk State Agrarian University, the Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical University and the Siberian State Aerospace University.

The city's extreme sports enthusiasts - roller skaters and cyclists - offered an alternative mode of transportation around the 12km route before it concluded in the hands of Aleksey Ovchinnikov, gold medallist at the 2012 Russian Mountain Skiing Championship and potential participant in the 2019 Winter Universiad.

"Given that the Universiade torch relay will be held for the first time in the history of the Russian Federation, Kazan has made a historical step," said State Secretary and Russia's Deputy Minister of Sports Natalia Parshikova.

"Today we are in Krasnoyarsk. Just imagine: this torch has been to every place imaginable - on the seas and oceans, and now it passes through the territory of Russia.

"On 6 July, on the opening day of the Summer Universiade, it will arrive in Kazan. We are looking forward to the flame."

Rafis Burganov, the Minister of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan, said:"Being 4,000 kilometres away from Kazan, we were very pleased to see such support, such interest in our relay. It proves once again that the Universiade is important for the entire country.

"We hope so much that, just like Kazan once, Krasnoyarsk will celebrate the same victory at the end of the bidding campaign on November 9. Even if we have to run all the way to Lausanne for that - we are ready to do it together with you."

The torch's journey began on July 12 last year when the Universiade flame was kindled at the Sorbonne University in Paris - the venue of the first World Student Games held in 1923.

Three days after being lit, the torch started a round-the-world trip on board the four-masted ship Sedov, which has already covered 45,000 nautical miles while retracing the route of some of the greatest sailors of all time.

In late January, on Russian Students' Day, the flame arrived for the first time on Russian soil in Vladivostok, the first of 29 of the country's biggest student cities which the torchbearers, travelling east to west, will visit.

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