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Ice hole marriage and Siberian marathon to mark Olympics close

February 12, 2014, 17:39 UTC+3 NOVOSIBIRSK
Organizers expect 50 to 60 guests for the night-time nuptials
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© ITAR-TASS/Donat Sorokin

NOVOSIBIRSK, February 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Thirty hardy Siberians will compete for 24 hours in an icy water marathon marking the end of the Winter Olympics in Sochi on February 23.

They will finish the folly celebrating a marriage in a hole in the ice, president of the White Bears Icy Water Swimmers’ Federation and prospective bridegroom Vitaly Panasyuk told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

Brave bathers will arrive from Novosibirsk, Berdsk, Kemerovo, Tomsk and Barnaul. They'll be taking the plunge after a celebration course carrying their version of the Olympic torch.

Organizers expect 50 to 60 guests for the night-time nuptials, joined by support teams for competitors known in Russia as morzh, translating as walrus.

The plans deliver a promise given to friends by future husband Panasyuk and his beloved from Barnaul that they would wed in style — befitting a couple whose wedding ceremony will mirror the manner of how the two swimmers broke the ice at their first winter-water meeting.

“We'll clear a path to the ice hole for the swimmers to carry the torch," Vitaly said. "Nighttime it will look especially attention-grabbing and we hope to get a real Olympic torch for our event.”

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