500 People to Carry Olympic Torch in Moscow
The Olympic torch will arrive in Moscow on Sunday to begin a four-month journey around Russia before the start of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 7.
After being flown in on a charter flight from Athens, Greece, the torch will be presented in a ceremony on Red Square, then taken around the city over the next three days by 500 relay participants, Sochi organizing committee head Dmitry Chernyshenko said Wednesday, Interfax reported.
The torch relay will begin Monday at Vasilyevsky Spusk next to St. Basil's Cathedral before traveling south to Moscow State University, where it will conclude for the day. On Tuesday, the torch will snake through the city largely along the Moscow River embankment back toward Red Square. The next day it will be taken into the Moscow metro, to Ostankino television tower, schools and hospitals.
Each person in the relay will run about 150 to 200 meters with the torch, relay spokesman Roman Osin told journalists Wednesday.
Among the hundreds of torch bearers will be dignitaries such as the Prince of Monaco, Albert II, and almost a dozen former Olympic and Paralympic champions, including five-time synchronized swimming champion Anastasia Davydova and former figure skater Irina Rodnina, who is currently a State Duma deputy. The oldest participant will be 98-year-old actor Vladimir Zeldin, who starred in numerous famous Soviet films.
At an event in the Kremlin on Thursday, Chernyshenko helped present the motorcade of Volkswagen cars that will travel with the torch. A total of 31 vehicles will take part.
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