BRYANSK, January 15, 5:22 /ITAR-TASS/. Bryans will greet the Olympic Torch relay-race, arriving here from Oryol on Wednesday, with a 156-metre banner on the 100th day of the relay-race. The huge banner will consist of towels stitched together. Thr towels will be decorated with the national ornaments of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.
Representatives of the three Slavic states will be the main participants in a gala concert on Wednesday night on the occasion of the Bryansk phase of the relay-race. At one of phases, the Torch will be carried by Hero of the Soviet Union Pilot-Cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev.
The unity of the three Slavic powers -- Belarus, Ukraine, ansd Russia -- will be one of the main ideas of the Bryansk festivities marking the event on the relay's 100th day. Natalia Somova, head of the regional department of culture, has told Itar-Tass that Bryansk Region, which is situated at the juncture of the three Slavic countries, "did not even think of arranging Olympic festivities without its neighbours".
In the final of the relay race, which will end at the Dynamo Stadium, where Olympic Flame will be lighted in a Bowl. the folklore collectives from the Slavic states will perform on the stage. Representatives of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine will present three huge towels with woven national patterns. The towels will be stitched together into one panel, 156 metres long, which will become the symbol of the unity of the three countries.
"I shall carry the Olympic Torch through the streets of my native city. I was told to run with the Torch in Kaluga -- the city which is reckoned the cradle of cosmonautics, but I said straght that I would carry the Torch only in Bryansk," Afanasyev told Itar-Tass.
Along with Afanasyev, there will be other celebrities among 210 torch-bearers: marksman Sergei Pyzhyanov, silver medallist of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, will be the first to carry the Torch from the station "Bryansk Orlovsky". In the evening the right to light Olympic Flame will be granted to Larissa Kurkina, Olympic winner of the XX Winter Olympics in Turin. In the final stage here the Olympic championess will run together with Bryansk Region Governor Nikolai Denin.
The length of the Olympic Torch relay-race route in Bryansk will be more than 39 km.The route will run across all the four districts of the city. In each district the relay will be accompanied with concerts and exhibitions. At the close of the Olympic Torch ceremonies in Bryansk Region, the relay race is to run along the remaining part of the planned route, the destination of which will be the Olympic Park of the city of Sochi.
After Bryansk, the Olympic Torch relay-race will proceed on its way to Kursk Region.