CHILDREN OF ASIA GAMES FLAME OVERCAME SNOWSTORM TO REACH OKHA

The Municipal District of Okha welcomed the Flame of the 1st Winter Children of Asia Sports Games. A lamp with the flame of the sports games lit in Yakutia has been travelling to the northern city for two days; during the journey the torch keepers and the escort team had to overcome snowstorms, closed roads, and snowdrifts. Mr. Sergei GUSEV, the Mayor of Okha, greeted the flame – he received the symbol of the winter games from the hands of a master of sports Mr. Roman TRUBETSKOY.

– It is a great honor for us that the torch relay reached Okha, we will support this torch relay and the development of sports and culture in the district of Okha. Our athletes achieve high results in cross country skiing, we have a very strong school where athletes can train in real environment and achieve high results, – said Mr. Sergey GUSEV. – We, the locals of Okha District, love sports, and we are sure it will keep growing, we have all the necessary conditions for that.

After the ceremony the lamp went to the district Administration – the flame will spend here the night before the relay, which will pass through the city streets on January 18. Two dozen torchbearers replacing each other will overcome three kilometers long distance. They will be accompanied by torch keepers and volunteers, and many residents of the oil workers’ city will attend the torch relay.

– I am excited to have been chosen. I am a master of sports in cross country skiing, as well as a public figure and a member of local council – probably that helped my application to win. And I can say that I am a part of history now, being one of the torchbearers – said Ms. Anastasia BUGROVA, the relay participant. – I wish everyone success in this endeavor. I wish all Okha residents who participate in the games to be ready to work hard and show their best. And I wish all the residents of Sakhalin Region positive vibes and good emotions!

On the day the flame of the games arrived in Okha the representatives of the Children of Asia Games Directorate met volunteers and residents. At the meeting the torch keeper and the relay escort team told about the history of the games, shared some secrets of preparation stage, and gave a short briefing to the participants of the Okha stage of this event that has united Sakhalin, the Kuriles, Yakutia, and even Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

– The north welcomed us with true Sakhalin weather with a snowstorm, but we are fully prepared, cars are equipped with everything we need, and the team has everything necessary. I wish the torchbearers of Okha to enjoy the event and courageously embrace their mission. The most important thing is just to enjoy the process, this is an exciting and large-scale event that we are making with our own hands, – Mr. Roman TRUBETSKOY , a torch keeper of the Summer Children of Asia Games, said to relay participants.

1st Winter Children of Asia International Sports Games will be held in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk from February 8 to 17. More than 1,300 athletes from 20 countries, as well as 600 judges and about 1,000 volunteers will take part in it. 91 sets of medals in 8 events will be played: cross country skiing, biathlon, alpine skiing, short track, figure skating, snowboarding, ice hockey, and ski jumping.

According to the tradition, before the competitions start, the flame of the games is lit in Yakutia and relayed to the host city. The Flame Relay started in the Lena Pillars National Park on December 22. The lamp arrived on Sakhalin on the New Year’s Eve, and already on January 5 it set off to the Kuril Islands. The final stage of the relay, during which the flame will visit all the regional centers of Sakhalin, will start in Okha on January 18. The culmination will take place on February 9 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, where the main torch of a historical sports event will flare up from a small tongue of flame that has travelled more than 4 thousand kilometers.