Velikiy Novgorod Celebrates the Sochi Winter Olympics

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Velikiy Novgorod was a key stop on the 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay, which began on October 7, 2013 and continued until its arrival in Sochi on February 5, 2014. In Russia the torch traveled from Moscow to Sochi through 2,900 towns and villages and all 83 regions of Russia by foot, car, plane, boat and “troika.” On October 24, torchbearer, Elena Kirilova, European champion in acrobatics, arrived with the torch on a Novgorod “soyma,” a traditional fishing boat, on the Volkhov River. The welcome ceremony for the Olympic flame took place in the ancient settlement of Ryurik, the historical location of the original Novgorod settlement, on the right bank of the Volkhov River, 10 km from current day Velikiy Novgorod. The torch was then handed off to the next torchbearer, Yuri Yakimov, who brought it to the left bank of the Volkhov River, right at the center of the city.

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