VOLGOGRAD, January 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Hero-city of Volgograd greets the Olympic Torch relay race on Monday. The relay will cover a record-long route of over 46 km in this city that stretches for almost 100 lm along the right-hand bank of the Volga River. The relay will run across four out of eight districts of the city, an official in the press service of the Volgograd Region government told Itar-Tass.The ride of the Olympic Torch underground by a high-speed tram decorated with the Sochi-2014 symbols will be yet another peculiarity of the Volgograd route. "We intend to file a bid in this connection for inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records," pointed out Sergei Popkov, Minister of Sports of the regional government.
At the city's railway terminal, a special train with the Olympic Torch will be greeted at a ceremony by Governor Sergei Bozhenov and by famous female athlete Yelena Isinbayeva, two-time Olympic winner in pole vaulting. The two will light the city's Olympic Flame Bowl. Maxim Opalev, Olympic winner in canoeing, will be the first to carry the Torch in the Volgograd phase of the relay race.
"The relay will run via the landmarks of the city — Mamayev Hill, the Alley of Heroes, the Volga Embankment, etc. The number of torch-bearers totals 252, among them sportsmen, coaches, physicians, teachers, entrepreneurs, and people prominent in the field of culture. A performance by coach Yekaterina Zharikova with the torch at the 'New Generation' skating-rink will be yet another highlight of the relay on Monday," an official at the Sochi 2014 organizing committee said.
Sports festivals and concerts will be held in honor of the relay at several sites along the route. Tatiana Lebedeva, an eminent sportswoman and Olympic winner, will run with the Torch in conclusion of the relay race here.
Governor Bozhenov pointed out, "The Olympic Torch relay race will be yet another occasion to rally city folk and enable them to feel proud of their country".
The overall length of the All-Russia Olympic Torch relay race, which set out from Moscow on October 7, 2013, is 65,000 km. The Torch is to be carried through the streets of 2,900 populated areas in 83 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The relay will finish in Sochi where Winter Olympic Games will begin on February 7.