THE TORCH RELAY OF «CHILDREN OF ASIA» IN KHOLMSK WAS HELD TO THE ACCOMPANIMENT OF A BLIZZARD

Kholmsk and Kostromskoe village hosted another stage of the torch relay of the 1st  Winter Children of Asia International Sports Games. 21 torchbearers took part in the race with symbols of the games, among them the best athletes, coaches, activists, representatives of arts, and best students. The total distance of the race exceeded 2 kilometers, it was implemented despite of the weather – a snowstorm was raging in Kholmsky District on the day of the relay.

— We are very happy, for us it is a great honor to welcome the Children of Asia relay in Kholmsk. The lamp, which was given to me, is warming not so much from its fire, but from the scope of the event, its significance. This is a great event for the sports community. We are a very sporting city, we have 18 kinds of sports that are developed quite professionally, mass sports are also popular, — welcomed the symbol of event the Mayor of the District, Mr. Alexander LETECHIN.

The fire relay in Kholmsky District started in the village of Kostromskoye — it is considered one of the most active in sports in the district. The start to the race here was given by a teacher of physical education and Sambo coach Mr. Igor PAK; besides him, two young athletes represent this authentic Russian wrestling style in Kostromskoye.

— Today my students they are considered to be the best among us, they study well. For all of Kostromskoe, it is a great honor that our village is among those embraced by the relay. This is a great pride to be holding the Children of Asia torch first in Kholmsky District. For the first time on Sakhalin such competitions are held, this is a big deal. The future is for children, and I hope that this event will be their ticket to something bigger’, — said the coach.

In Kholmsk, the relay of the symbol of the Games started at 14 o’clock — a blizzard that had calmed came back to the city with a new force. The race started at the library building, the route was laid along the main streets of the port city. Despite the bad weather, it was decided not to cancel the race — the organizers of the relay and the city authorities reasonably concluded that it’s Winter Games, after all, and skiers or hockey players are not scared of blizzards. The locals of Kholmsk adhered to a similar logic: on the streets of the city, 17 torchbearers were cheered by few but cohesive groups of fans.

— It was great to run, it’s very cool. The mood is just great, I am very glad that I carried the fire of the first Children of Asia Games. We were able to pull that off, not worse than our athletes — we have choreography, you know, and this is in no way simpler, — says one of the few culture representatives among the runners Ms. Nadezhda ALEKSEYEVA.

Kholmsk stage was completed on the square in front of the city administration — one of the most titled athletes of the district, weightlifter Maksim SHEYKO, was granted the right to finish holding a torch.

— Children of Asia is the first international event of such scale that takes place in our region. Everything will be great, I’m sure of it. I am very glad that I take part in this. I thought it would be difficult — but I do weightlifting, and the torch weighs only a kilo eight hundred, — the athlete smiles.

After the torch relay was completed, the Games symbols were handed over to the Mayor of Kholmsk. They will stay in the city and will be available to all visitors. And on February 1, the lamp with the flame of Games ignited in Yakutia will go to Nevelsk, where the relay will take place on the 2nd of February.

Children of Asia Winter Games will be held for the first time in the regional capital from February 8 to 17. Representatives from 20 countries will be participating: more than 1,300 athletes, 600 judges, 1,000 volunteers. 91 sets of medals in 8 sports will be awareded: cross-country skiing and biathlon, short track, figure skating, ice hockey, alpine skiing and snowboarding, ski jumping.