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NIZHNIY NOVGOROD, January 07, 1:02 /ITAR-TASS/. Nizhniy Novgorod, the fifth largest city in Russia and the administrative center of the Nizhniy Novgorod region, will meet the Olympic torch relay on Christmas day. The flame will arrive in Nizhniy Novgorod from Kirov on January 7.
Nizhniy Novgorod will be the 103rd city on the route of the Olympic flame which was lit up on Mount Olympus in Greece. A special train will deliver the Olympic torch to the “tsarist pavilion” that was built at the city’s railway station in 1913 for a visit by Emperor Nicholas II and his family to Nizhniy Novgorod.
Olympic Ice Hockey Champion Alexander Skvortsov will open the Nizhniy Novgorod lap of the Olympic torch relay race. He will pass the torch on to the two-time Olympic biathlon champion, Nikolai Kruglov.
The torch will stay in Nizhniy Novgorod for two days. Speed skaters and runners will carry it almost through all neighborhoods of Nizhniy Novgorod with a population of 1.5 million people. Besides, the torch will make the lap of honor on the ice-covered Volga River onboard of the Khivus-10 air cushioned amphibious boat built at the local Aerokhod plant. The vehicle is capable of moving in shallow waters, marshland, deep snow, broken ice and can overcome flat shore faces, washouts and shoals.
The regional government’s press service reports that the Nizhniy Novgorod lap of the Olympic torch relay race is 84 kilometers long. This is the second largest route after Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan, were the torch bearers had to run for 87 kilometers. A total of 420 people, including athletes, officials, teachers, agronomists, conductors and rescuers will bear the torch in Nizhniy Novgorod and the Nizhniy Novgorod region. Natalya Sadovaya, the discus throwing champion of the Olympic Games in Athens, will run in pair with Sergei Uvarov, an employee of a car service center who saved two boys who had fallen under the ice in December 2012.
Other torch bearers will include Dmitry Svatkovsky, the Syndey Olympic champion in modern pentathlon; Darya Shkurikhina and Elena Posevina, the rhythmic gymnastics champions of the Beijing Olympic Games. Posevina will end the Nizhniy Nogrod lap of the Olympic torch relay race on the city’s Minin and Pozharsky square where the Olympic cauldron will be lit on January 8. The festive programme will also include a laser show, a multimedia fireworks and a concert.