A record was set for the number of cities simultaneously participating in the Paralympic Torch Relay.
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Torch Relay travelled to cities of the Siberian Federal District on Friday (28 February), as the flame was lit and torchbearers in nine Siberian cities passed it to each other. The cities included were: Omsk, Biysk, Novokuznetsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Gorno-Altaysk, Ulan-Ude, Sayanogorsk, and Seversk.
A record was set for the number of cities simultaneously participating in the Relay. Among the torchbearers of the Sochi 2014 Relay were nominees from the representing partners – Coca-Cola company, OSAO Ingosstrakh, OAO Russian Railways and Volkswagen Group Rus.
Twenty torchbearers passed the Paralympic Flame to each other through Krasnoyarsk. Among them were the great Soviet wall and mountain climber Vladimir Karataev, Deaflympics champion in taekwondo Marina Drozdova, Russian champion in archery for persons with spinal-cord injuries Natalia Ryzhov, and winner of the men's 4x100m relay at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Evgeny Kegelev.
The first torch in Krasnoyarsk was lit from a forge fire, as spectators watched a video about the blacksmiths who forged the first victories for the residents of Krasnoyarsk land, At the end of the city stage of the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay, the cauldron was lit by the final torchbearer, track and field coach Alexander Melnikov.
In the city of Biysk in the Altai Region, there were 15 torchbearers, including London 2012 Paralympian, Irina Kolmogorova, and Nordic skiing Paralympic champion, Tatiana Ilyuchenko.
The first torchbearer was Paralympic coach Vladimir Zamyatin. He began after his Torch was lit from the nozzle of a launching rocket, as one of the important sectors of the city's defence industry is the manufacture of rocket fuel. The climax of the city stage of the Sochi 2014 Relay was the lighting the cauldron by Ilyuchenko.
In the city of Novokuznetsk in the Kemerovo Region, the Flame of the Paralympics was lit from the flame of a blast furnace. Fifteen torchbearers, famous residents of the city, passed it to each other on the city's streets. They include Andrei Nikiforov, Kheda Beriev and Larisa Berieva, and Viktor Martynov, Torino 2013 World Masters Games champion for veterans in track and field.
Completing the city stage of the Paralympic Torch Relay in Novokuznetsk was two-time Paralympian Sergei Poddubny. In front of tens of thousands of spectators, he lit the cauldron and the festivities were continued with a vibrant concert.
In the capital of the Republic of Altai, Gorno-Altaysk, 10 renowned residents of the city became Torchbearers. The first torchbearer was Tamara Zinovieva, chairwoman of the Republican Public Organization of the Disabled. Paralympic athletes were also among the torchbearers, including Khokhryakov, Chingiz Meirkhanov, Lyudmila Karnaukhova, Roman Maksimov, and Evgeny Kichinekov. The final Torchbearer was the Deaflympics judoka member Oygor Taiping, who lit the cauldron.
The next stage of the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay went to Omsk. The flame-lighting ceremony was held in the Omsk fortress complex, where a spark was obtained from the red-hot metal of a forged Firebird feather, the curved outlines of which are used in the design of the Paralympic Torch.
In Omsk, the Paralympic Flame was passed to each other by 100 torchbearers. They included the winner of two gold and two bronze medals at the Deaf World Championship, Elena Timirbulatova, three-time Paralympic Games medallist in track and field Vladimir Andryuschenko, London 2012 Paralympians Alexander Kuzyukov, Artur Yusupov and Ivan Prokopiev, two-time world champion Yuri Zikunov, Deaflympic Games champion Elizaveta Truschenko, and Paralympic champion Alexey Fomenkov. Yulia Efimova, a Paralympian in wheelchair fencing, was the final torchbearer in Omsk and she lit the cauldron.
In the Republic of Khakassia, the relay travelled through Sayanogorsk. The 13 torchbearers included: adaptive sports coach Mikhail Khobotov, medallist in the Russian Chess Championship for the blind Ruslan Draganov, Russian champion in sitting volleyball Alexei Maslov, champion of Krasnoyarsk Region and the Republic of Khakassia in table tennis for the disabled Alexander Sokolov and Russian champion in alpine sports for the disabled, Tatiana Semenova-Asachenko.
The first torchbearer's flame was lit by sparks produced from the fire of the shaman on the Altai shore. Torchbearer Vadim Trunov, an athletics champion, completed the relay stage in Khakassia and then lit the cauldron.
In Ulan-Ude, 10 torchbearers took part in the city stage of the relay. The Paralympic Torch Relay in the Republic of Buryatia featured a striking and unusual start, as the Paralympic Torch was brought from the Ivolginsky datsan, where it was lit before the Sagaalgan festival (the New Year according to the lunar calendar). Three bogatyrs on horseback passed the spark to the Keepers of the Flame, who lit the first Torch.
Among torchbearers in Ulan-Ude were archer Sergei Khutakov, and famous Russian athletes Olga Potemkina, Alexander Efimchuk, Lyudmila Zanabadarova, Sergei Petrov, Sergei Kolodyuk, and Boris Khlebnikov. Completing the Sochi 2014 relay in Buryatia was archer Zorigma Rinchindorzhieva, who lit the Cauldron at the festival's climax.
In Novosibirsk, 20 torchbearers took part in the city stage of the Sochi 2014. At City Start Park, a vibrant show took place dedicated the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality. As part of the show, the Flame was lit and from sparks four stars were made, symbolising the four values. Torchbearers in Novosibirsk included the world champion in wheelchair fencing Maksim Shaburov and bronze medallist at the World Championship in wheelchair fencing Alexander Nedoboiko. Wheelchair fencing’s 2012 world champion Maksim Shaburov was the final torchbearer and lit the cauldron.
The Tomsk Region welcomed the relay in Seversk. The flame-lighting ceremony was held in the form of a flash mob in which people with an impairment participated. They lined up in the shape of huge heart with the Lantern in the centre of it. The first torchbearer in Seversk was table tennis player Evgeny Burmistrov and athlete Vadim Titov lit the cauldron.
After extinguishing the cauldron in each of the nine cities of the Siberian Federal District, the ceremony of the transfer of sparks to Sochi was held. During this ceremony, the symbolic fire was transferred to the Paralympic Games city, as the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony will be held in Sochi on 5 March in anticipation of the main Cauldron in the Olympic Park.