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WASHINGTON, February 15 (Itar-Tass) – “The Road to Sochi 2014” starts in Washington. This is a joint project of the American-Russian Sport Association ARSA Harmony and the American Association of Russian Women, which will be presented at the Russian Cultural Centre in Washington on Friday.
ARSA Harmony president Pavel Krapiva told Itar-Tass that the project is targeted at creating a Russian-American team that will take part in a series of track-and-field competitions in the United States throughout 2013. The project will be kicked off on March 16 within the framework of the National Marathon in Washington.
Then the joint team will compete in the 10,000 run in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 6; Seattle Marathon, Washington, on June 22; the Atlanta running event, which is timed to coincide with the Independence Day on July 4, and the flagship race, Baltimore Marathon, on October 13.
“The Road to Sochi 2014” team will include 40-50 athletes, who will run the Olympic symbols. Among outstanding athletes will be Valentina Yegorova (long-distance runner, gold medalist of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and silver medalist of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta), Andrei Kuznetsov (two-time Boston Marathon winner and champion of the first Washington DC Marathon), Ludmila Petrova (the only Russian to win New York Marathon), four-time world champion Tatyana Pozdnyakova, Boston Marathon recordholder in masters Firaya Sultanova and winners of some large-scale competitions – Yelena Orlova and Irina Suvorova.
“While creating this team and participating in several large-scale track-and-field competitions in the United States, we hope to waken interest in the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympic Games even just among those Americans, who indulge in sports,” said Larisa Petrenko, president of the American Association of Russian Women. “If our countries’ governments make “a reset” of relations, sport so much the more should act as a peace envoy,” she said.
Petrenko noted that the Olympic Games in Russia’s Black Sea resort “is a good opportunity to visit Russia and to know its culture better and just to watch TV broadcasts from there.”
The project will not only focus on running events, it will also organize special exhibitions to tell American about the history of the Olympic movement in Russia.