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VLADIVOSTOK, February 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The Primorsky Territory (PT) phase of the Paralympic Flame relay-race began on Wednesday with a colorful theatricalized performance near the Olympian sports complex. The performance featured the most famous people of the Territory, ranging from Count Nikolai Myravyov-Amursky, the founder of Vladivostok, to Anna Shchetinina, the first female sea captain, the 106th anniversary of whose birth is marked in Primorye on Wednesday.
Ruslan Chukanov, many-time winner and medalist of Territorial competitions among the disabled, was the first torchbearer to carrry the Flame through the streets of Vladivostok. Chukanov is the founder and director of the sports hall of the Society of the Disabled in the city of Artyom. He regularly wins powerlifting and armwrestling competitions at Territorial and city Spartakiads. Chukanov also helps other handicapped people to practice sports by arranging the Artyom-based sports hall for them.
The Torch relay-race will involve 100 torchbearers, among them 20 wheelchair users. Replacing one another, they will cover 17.5 km through the city's streets and cross two bridges - the one across the Zolotoi Rog (Golden Horn) Bay and the other one leading to Russkiy (Russian) Island, and visit the campus of Far Eastern Federal University on Russkiy Island. The phase of the relay will end near the Fetisov-Arena sports complex where a sports festival will take place to represent all Paralympic sports that have undergone development in Primorye.
Swimmer Vitaly Obotin, many-time world champion, seven-time gold medalist of SurdOlympic Games, has been honored with the right to end the relay race in Vladivosyok. An ice show under the direction of Ilya Averbukh will be a continuation of the sports festival.
At the close of the performance, the Torch will be sent to Sochi where a Paralympic Flame Combining Ceremony will be held in the central square on March 5.