GAMES FLAME RELAY IN OKHA

The next stage of the Torch Relay started today in the northern capital of the island. The flame has to travel about three kilometers, with 20 torchbearers passing it to each other.

The residents also took part in the Torch Relay, which embraced almost the entire city. Despite a working day, they came out to support the participants of the Relay.

– We support a healthy lifestyle. ‘Children of Asia’ is a wonderful project that unites not only athletes, but also, all of us who live here, in the Far East, – shared Mr. Igor BELSKY, a torchbearer, who ran one of the stages of the Relay with his son.

There were some unusual northern elements in addition to traditional running stages of the Relay: the flame was delivered to the start on dogsled, and Mr. Egor KHAILOV, a coach at the local sports school, carried the flame to the finish line at the Neftyanikov Square on skis.

– Nothing like this has ever happened here, so we decided that we cannot miss this opportunity and we should certainly come and support the Relay – said Mr. Maksim KOPTELOV.

– Cross-country skiing is one of the trademarks of the northern capital city. Our athletes are known for their victories not only in the region, but also in Russia, we will support them. Today is a historic moment, an important event for all of us! – said Mr. Sergey GUSEV, the Head of the Municipality.

The Torch Relay will proceed to Nogliki tomorrow, January 19. The Relay will be held there on January 20. Earlier, the symbol of the international event visited the Kuril Islands.

Recall, lighting of the flame took place in Yakutia – the homeland of the Games. The ceremony was held in the Lena Pillars National Park. On new year’s eve, the symbol of the Games arrived to Sakhalin and was passed to Mr. Valery LIMARENKO, acting Governor of the Sakhalin Region.

The 1st Winter Children of Asia International Sports Games will be held in the regional center from 8 to 17 February for the first time. 20 countries will take part in the games: more than 1,300 athletes, 600 judges, 1,000 volunteers. Athletes will be competing for 91 sets of medals in 8 sports: cross-country skiing and biathlon, short track, figure skating, hockey, alpine skiing and snowboarding, ski jumping.