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Olympic Flame reaches Europe’s highest point

Olympic Flame reaches Europe's highest point
Olympic Flame reaches Europe’s highest point

Following the visit of the Olympic Torch Relay to the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that, as part of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay, the Olympic Flame has been lit at the peak of the highest point in Europe – Mt. Elbrus, which is located in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic. The Presenting Partners of the Olympic Torch Relay are Coca-Cola, OSAO Ingosstrakh and OAO “Russian Railways”.

The special “Elbrus” project was planned separately from the main Olympic Torch Relay route in order to ensure the best possible weather conditions for the climb. At the end of October 2013, an ascent of the western summit of the “two-peaked mountain” was made by experienced mountain climbers: Karina Mezova, who has climbed to the summit of Mount Elbrus 130 times, and Abdul-Khalim Elmezov, President of the Climbing Federation of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Under good conditions, the torchbearer mountain climbers reached the summit of Mt. Elbrus and delivered the Sochi 2014 Olympic Flame there in a special lantern. On the western peak of Mt. Elbrus, at an altitude of 5,642 meters above sea level, Abdul-Khalim Elmezov and Karina Mezova lit the Cauldron.

Mt. Elbrus is included in the Greater Caucasus mountain range and is the highest mountain not only of Russia, but of all of Europe. The mountain is considered to be “two-peaked”, since it has two summits – the western one is higher by just 21 metres than the eastern. An ascent on Mt. Elbrus is considered by professional mountain climbers to be one of the most challenging and dangerous of its kind.

The Elbrus project is one of four special and extremely complex projects that form part of the Olympic Torch Relay, namely, “Space”, “Baikal Lake”, “North Pole” and “Elbrus”. The completion of this final challenge now means that all of the Torch Relay special projects have taken place successfully.

The Olympic Torch Relay got under way in Moscow on 7 October 2013. According to the organizers’ calculations, 90% of the Russian population will be within an hour’s reach of the Torch Relay route at some time or other, and this means that approximately 130 million Russian citizens will be able to watch or participate directly in the Relay. In total, it will cover more than 65,000 kilometers, including by car, train, plane, Russian troika and even reindeer sleigh.

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay is going to be the longest in the entire history of the Olympic Winter Games. During the Olympic Torch Relay, 14,000 torchbearers will carry the Sochi 2014 Olympic torch through 2,900 settlements of 83 regions of the country. The Relay will end with the Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony in Sochi on February 7, 2014.

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