The Winter Universiade 2019 Flame United with Metallurgical Furnace Flame in Norilsk

23.01.2019

On 22 December, the 29th Winter Universiade 2019 Flame passed through Norilsk. Norilsk became the first stop of the Flame within the Krasnoyarsk Territory. The total route length is 2,800 m.

Before the start of the leg, the Universiade Flame visited the Kolesnikov Nadezhdinsky Metallurgical Plant. At the the biggest Nornickel plant of the Polar Division, it was united with the flame from metallurgical furnaces. This symbolic action was to show the contribution of Nornickel, General Partner of the Winter Universiade Krasnoyarsk 2019, in the preparation of the Games and in the industrial potential of the Krasnoyarsk Territory in general.

Participants of the flame unification ceremony included Lyudmila Magomedova, Chairman of the Committee for Education, Culture and Sport within the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Rinat Akhmetchin, Mayor of Norilsk, Sergei Dyachenko, First Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Norniсkel, Vladislav Gasumyanov, State Secretary and Vice-President of Government Relations at MMC Norilsk Nickel, Nikolay Utkin, Director of Nornickel Polar Division.

Ilia Sarychev, Head of Melting Shop No.1 in Nadezhdinsky Metallurgical Plant, was entrusted to take the flame from a metallurgical furnace for passing it to the Universiade Flame keepers. It is noteworthy that the flame was passed using a torch specially made for this ceremony. Now this attribute will be kept in the plant's museum.

The remarkable thing is that the Universiade Flame bearers will carry the combined flame along the streets of 13 cities of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and, on 2 March, they will light the main cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the Games in Krasnoyarsk.

"Norilsk has legitimately become the city of the Krasnoyarsk Territory where the final leg of the Winter Universiade 2019 Flame started," said Lyudmila Magomedova, Chairman of the Committee for Education, Culture and Sport within the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. "This city with rather severe climatic conditions is inhabited with stout-hearted people. Education, culture and sport are successfully developed here. I am absolutely sure that Norilsk people will directly participate in the Winter Universiade 2019 that will be held in Krasnoyarsk on 2-12 March. And each of us will, of course, become a hardcore fan of the Russian students’ team."

In the opinion of Sergei Dyachenko, First Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Norniсkel, the task of holding the Winter Universiade is global. "Nornickel, the world leader in the production of non-ferrous and precious metals, got accustomed to solving large-scale tasks. Today, we start the final leg of the Winter Universiade 2019 Flame. We create the history of sports victories, the history of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the whole Russia."

Participants of the Norilsk leg started near the Arena-Norilsk Sports and Entertainment Complex. The honour of being the first person to carry the torch along the main avenue of the Polar Region was given to Nikolay Utkin, Director of Nornickel Polar Division. "There are many common things in sport and in the labour of a steel worker. It is necessary to work a lot and be a tight-knit team aimed at getting results and records in order to achieve good performance. Everyone knows that Norniсkel was founded in Norilsk, and there would not be many achievements without this city. Today, Norilsk remains the basis of the industrial potential of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, providing much hope for the future, for the development." 

Some unique methods of the Flame carrying were used during the route. Lilia Panko, head of Shkoda Modern Pop Dance Company, passed her route by dog sled. Valery Selifonkin, physical education and sports instructor, skied his route, and Denis Kaminsky, deputy of the Norilsk City Council, carried the torch while driving a snowmobile.

In total, 18 bearers carried the Winter Universiade 2019 Flame along the streets of the city. They included Sergei Dyachenko, First Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Norniсkel; Yana Grib, Director of Norkickel Projects Office; Sergei Onishchenko, Regional Director of the Krasnoyarsk Branch of Sberbank in Norilsk; Antonina Krivenko, the bronze medalist of the European Powerlifting Championship; Chief Specialist of Nornickel Corporate Projects Administration; Konstantin Kochan, President of the Crossfit Sports Functional Fitness Federation and representative of Nornickel Fire Safety Administration; Polina Nikulicheva, many-time winner of international and national taekwondo competitions; Alexei Lyagin, Director of the Talnakh Sports Complex; and Radik Karimov, Director of Secondary School No.13.

The Universiade Flame leg finished at the square in front of the Arktika Sports Palace, where the city cauldron was lit by Rinat Akhmetchin, Mayor of Norilsk, and Vladislav Gasumyanov, State Secretary and Vice-President of Government Relations at MMC Norilsk Nickel, who was the closing flame bearer of the route.

"The Winter Universiade Krasnoyarsk 2019 will continue the series of outstanding sports events of the past years: the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It is gratifying that Russia is becoming the centre of global sport. Careful operation of the federal centre, regional authorities and the Universiade Directorate with the support of Nornickel are the guarantee that we will all definitely witness a festive and memorable sports event," said Vladislav Gasumyanov.

"Holding the Universiade Flame leg is a milestone event and a big holiday for Norilsk," said Rinat Akhmetchin, Mayor of Norilsk. "Our city has always been involved in sport, and today, in spite of the frosty weather and wind, many people came to the city streets to greet the Winter Universiade 2019 Flame.

The festive programme continued on the ice of the Arktika Sports Palace. The programme included a laser show called Norilsk Welcomes the Flame! and the performance of singers and dancers.

Let us note that, within five days, about 1,500 Norilsk citizens visited The Universiade With Us interaction location in the city youth centre. There they could participate in a cultural and sports programme full of different events, meet with flame bearers and take a photo with the Universiade Flame flask. Official merchandise of the Winter Universiade 2019 (U-Laika plush toys, hats, magnets, badges and other souvenirs), as well as some products of the Norilsky meat processing factory and Taimyr fish factory, that are official licensees of the Games, were presented at the city youth centre, at the start and finish points of the Universiade Flame leg.

The Winter Universiade 2019 Flame will be delivered from Norilsk to Tura, where, on 26 January, the next leg will take place.

Let us remind that the Universiade Flame started on 20 September in the Italian city of Turin where the lighting ceremony of the Winter Universiade 2019 Flame took place. Such cities as Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Harbin (China) welcomed the flame bearers as a part of the Universiade Flame international leg. In Russia, the Universiade Flame has already been brought to 17 cities. The trip of the Winter Universiade 2019 Flame will be finished on 1 March 2019 in Krasnoyarsk.

The Winter Universiade 2019 Flame is supported by Nornickel Mining and Metallurgical Company and Siberian Wellness International Corporation.