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Russia unveils torch relay route of 2014 Winter Olympics

(Xinhua)

08:55, October 09, 2012

Russia on Sunday unveiled the torch relay route of the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Black Sea resort city of Sochi, saying the longest-ever relay would be launched within 12 months in the country.

The 123-day relay will run across some 65,000 kilometers from Russia's westmost exclave of Kaliningrad to the frozen Chukotka in the Far east, more than one and a half times the circumference of the Earth.

According to Dmitry Chernyshenko, president of the Organizing Committee of the Sochi Games, the main task of the relay was to unite the whole country.

"We have to fulfill a responsible and ambitious task - to unify our country's people and rediscover the diversity and beauty of Russia, first of all, for ourselves," Chernyshenko said.

"We want to allow every people to feel as a part of the Olympic movement and every town to become an Olympic host for a short time," he said.

By tradition, the Olympic flame will be lit during a ceremony in Olympia, Greece, on Sunday and reach Moscow on Oct. 7, 2013 to begin the relay.

Chernyshenko revealed the relay route covered all 83 Russian regions, adding that the flame would even reach the bottom of the world's deepest Lake Baikal in Siberia.

"Our task is to do our utmost to show the Olympic flame to 90 percent of Russians," he said.

More than 14,000 torchbearers and some 30,000 volunteers will accompany the flame. A total of 130 million Russian residents out of the 141-million population were expected to see the flame.

The Sochi Olympics will be opened on Feb 7, 2014 and run until Feb. 23. The Games will feature 98 medal events, which is 12 more than those of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

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