100 torchbearers took turns in carrying the 2017 Universiade Torch in Almaty.
The torch was lit in the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, which is one of the leading universities in Almaty. According to the organizer’s plan, seven students from different universities lit the torch using seven chemical elements. This was meant to symbolize the sciences studied in Ancient Greece. The number of students and elements is also no coincidence. It bears a special meaning for Kazakhstanis.
The Mayor of Almaty Bauyrzhan Baybek was the first torchbearer. He carried the torch on a distance of 200 meters. Then he passed the torch to the first Olympic Champion of Kazakhstan in swimming Dmitriy Balandin.
During his greeting speech, the Mayor of Almaty underlined that Kazakhstan is the first of the countries of the CIS to host the Winter Universiade.
“The care about the young generation has always been a central pillar of the policies of the Leader of the Nation. It is the highest priority for the state to develop the education, the spiritual and the physical aspects of young people’s lives. The choice of Almaty as the Universiade’s hosting city is not coincidental. Youngsters comprise a third of the city’s population. The highest number of universities is located here. There are 38 higher educational establishments in total where every third Kazakhstani student is enrolled,” noted the Mayor.
He also said the the Universiade gave a new momentum to Almaty’s development and has changed the face of the city. New roads and junctions have been built; the transport infrastructure is getting better. Halyk Arena, Almaty Arena, the Athlete’s Village have already become the new attractions of the city.
“The legacy of the Universiade will have a lasting impact and serve the residents of Almaty and the citizens of Kazakhstan. More than 1,700 struggling families will get flats in the Athlete’s Village after the Universiade is over. Alatau Traditional Arts Center, the Multimedia Center of Traditional Music, the Museum of Almaty and other cultural attractions have opened their doors to the inhabitants and the guests of the city. In the following few days, thousands of athletes and tourists and billions of TV spectators will discover Almaty, a City of Thousand Colors, a city with a thousand-year history, the golden cradle of our homeland’s Independence.”, added the Mayor.
The torch relay ceremony went by the following route: Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Timiryazev Street) – Manas Sreet – Abay Avenue – Seifullin Avenue – Gogolya Street – Seifullina Avenue – Tole Bi Street – Dostyk Avenue – Abay Avenue – Baitursynov Street – Satpayev Street – Dostyk Avenue. The ceremony finished at the Republic Square.
Then the Universiade Torch will travel further along the Extra Stage. It will visit the Medeu Complex and Shymbulak Ski Resort. In the evening of January 29 small relay flames that have arrived from 16 Kazakhstani cities will become one big flame.