The St Petersburg stage of the relay started from Academician Sakharov Square near the Twelve Collegia. The day before, the main symbol of the competition — the Universiade flame — was handed over to the Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev.
Aleksandr Beglov, the interim Governor of St Petersburg and a member of the Board of Trustees of St Petersburg University, welcomed the participants of the competition and guests of the event at the opening ceremony of the relay. «The flame of the World Winter Universiade, which will be held in Russia for the first time in 2019, was lit in Turin on International University Sports Day. Today it will pass through the most beautiful places of our city; and this will be a real festivity for Petersburgers and guests of the city. I would like to wish our students and participants in upcoming sports competitions success in winning as many awards as possible,» Aleksandr Beglov said to the young athletes.
The 29th World Winter Universiade will be held in Krasnoyarsk from 2 to 12 March, 2019. On the eve of one of the biggest events in the world of sports, 30 Russian cities are taking part in the torch relay.
The Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev, who became one of the honorary torchbearers, emphasised that St Petersburg University has always gone hand-in-hand with sports. «The first Olympic champion in the history of Russia, the figure skater Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin is our graduate. Today, St Petersburg University is in sports. So, this year we have launched a new educational programme "Lawyer in the Field of Sports Law (Sports Lawyer)", whose graduates, I am sure, will protect the interests of our athletes at the international level. The pleasure that each of us receives while doing sport and the friendship that unites athletes is the backbone that helps people to achieve success in life,» Nikolay Kropachev noted.
All last week, St Petersburg University hosted the Universiade’s interactive platform, where everyone could take master classes in floor and table curling, laser biathlon, and air hockey, as well as meet with Olympic champions and members of the Russian national teams.
The beginning of the relay route passed along the Twelve Collegia. The first torchbearer of the Universiade’s flame was Vice Governor of St Petersburg Vladimir Kirillov who passed the torch to the Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev. The next who took the flame was the Dean of the Faculty of Law of St Petersburg University Sergey Belov, master of sports in orienteering. The relay will be finished at the stadium of the Lesgaft National State University of Physical Culture, Sports and Health. From St Petersburg the flame of the World Winter Universiade will leave for Arkhangelsk.