On 25 January, the Universiade Flame lighting ceremony was held in Astana. After the flame-lighting ceremony, in which renowned Kazakhstan athletes took part, the flame was relayed through the streets of Astana.
After the end of the torch relay, the Universiade Flame was successfully delivered in a special flask to Almay. In the southern capital, the Flame was met by volunteers who will work during the upcoming event and officials. The vital cargo was brought by the keeper of the Flame, Genghis Utepbergenov, and Kazakhstan skier Daulet Rakhimbaev.
“Dear members of the organizing committee, today in the capital of our country Astana, Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev handed over to me as captain of the national team, the flag of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and took part in the Universiade flame lighting. I have been entrusted with the task to deliver the flame to Almaty. I am giving it to you”, – Daulet Rakhimbaev said when passing the flask with flame to Nail Nurov, head of the Directorate for Preparing and Holding the 28th World Winter Universiade-2017 in Almaty.
After the handover, the flask with the Universiade Flame was taken to the special storage, which is located in the heart of the Athletes’ Village. The flask was placed in the niche of the symbol of the Universiade made in the shape of letter «U». There are the total of 16 such niches – by the final stage of the torch relay in Almaty all such niches will be filled with flasks containing flames lighted up in other regions of Kazakhstan. Sixteen torchbearers from all regions of the country will light up the Universiade Flame during the opening ceremony of the Universiade to symbolize the unity of the Kazakhstan students.
“Despite the difficult weather conditions, the Universiade Flame lighting ceremony held in Astana had an unconditional success. We tried our best to ensure that the ceremony is beautiful, everything went perfectly in Astana. On the way to Almaty together with the Flame I experienced an incredible feeling; this was emotions together with the sense of great responsibility. As a result, I am happy that our country hosts such an event as the Universiade for the first time, on Kazakhstan, on”, – Genghis Utepbergenov, the keeper of the Universiade Flame said after the completion of the honourable mission.
We would like to add that on 26, 27 and 28 January, the Flame-lighting ceremonies and torch relay will take place in each region of Kazakhstan. Renowned Kazakhstani athletes, such as Dina Zholaman, world champion in boxing, Elizabeth Tursynbayeva, strongest Kazakh figure skater, Olympic medallists Ekaterina Larionova, Adilbek Niyazymbetov, Zhazira Zhapparkul, Ivan Dychko and others are among 16 key regional torchbearers.