WINTER CHILDREN OF ASIA GAMES FLAME LIT

According to the tradition, the flame was lit in compliance with ancient customs, in Yakutia, the birthplace of the Games, in magnificent surroundings of Lena Pillars Natural Park. From there, the flame will be delivered to the capital of the Sakha Republic – Yakutsk. On December 23 the flame was passed through downtown Yakutsk.

The official ceremony of lighting the flame was attended by guests of honor. Among them were Prime Minister of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) Mr. Vladimir SOLODOV, Member of the Russian State Duma, Chairman of Audit Commission, Russian Olympic Committee Mr. Marat BARIEV, President of the Children of Asia Games International Committee Mr. Dmitry GLUSHKO, Director General of the 1st Winter Children of Asia International Sports Games Administration Mr. Vladimir MAKSIMOV, Deputy Minister of Sport, Tourism, and Youth Policy of the Sakhalin Region Mr. Yegor UMNOV.

— The lighting of the flame took place 50 days before the start of the Games. This year, the Games International Committee decided to change the place of lighting. This is due to the fact that the Games are starting a new chapter with the first winter edition. I hope that in a few years the number of participants will increase, maybe new events will be added, and the number of participating countries will reach 35, as in summer edition of the Games, — said Mr. GLUSHKO.

The right to be the first to light the torch of the 1st Winter Children of Asia International Sports Games was granted to two-time Olympic champion in biathlon, the Ambassador of Winter Children of Asia Games Ms. Anna BOGALIY.

— This place is breathing history. We haven’t yet realized the historical meaning of this moment; the awareness will come later. But I already feel the goosebumps, — the champion shared.

For the first time the ritual ceremony took place at the foot of the Lena Pillars. The key character was the figure of the Elder. He carefully took the small fire that was lit using a flint. Then a child picked up the fire using a special container. According to tradition, a child with a pure soul has the right to touch the sacred fire.

On December 31, when the chimes herald midnight, the symbol of the Games will arrive at the central square of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. After that it will be given to the Keepers. The Keepers are three athletes from Sakhalin: Roman TRUBETSKOY, Karina GLEBOVA, and Ilias NURGALIEV.

— It is very difficult to describe my feelings right now, because emotions are overwhelming. This atmosphere, nature, traditions – it’s fascinating! A appreciate the Games Administration for this honor and their vote of confidence.

The Keepers will be responsible for safeguarding the Games Flame during the relay and will be accompanying it throughout the relay race: from the moment of lighting in Yakutia to the opening ceremony of the Games on Sakhalin. During the running stage, they will be assisting the process of transferring the Flame from a special bulb to the torch, and then from torch to torch. They will have to travel a total of 4,112 km.

The Torch Relay on Sakhalin Island will start on January 7. On this day, the symbol of the Games will go to the Kuril Islands, and on January 18 the Flame will begin its tour around Sakhalin Island, starting from its northernmost point, Okha.

In each town and community, the symbol of the Games will be carried by the torchbearers. More than 360 people have been chosen for this important role. Among them outstanding athletes, politicians, game organizers, and guests of honor. They will be carrying a torch, which is made to resemble the shape of Sakhalin Island. It bears the logo of the Games and the shapes of the Kuril Ridge islands.

By analogy with the Olympic flame, it will be visiting 18 communities and municipalities, and will arrive at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on February 9, when the opening ceremony of the 1st Winter Children of Asia Games will take place.

The 1st Winter Children of Asia International Sports Games is the only sports event in Russia, which is held under the auspices of the IOC. The Games in our city are positioned as a preparatory stage for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in Lausanne.