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Volume 6 No. 214


The Olympic torch "will arrive in Moscow on Sunday to begin a four-month journey around Russia" before the start of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to the MOSCOW TIMES. After being flown in on a charter flight from Athens, Greece, the torch "will be presented in a ceremony on Red Square, then taken around the city over the next three days by 500 relay participants." Among "the hundreds of torch bearers will be dignitaries" such as the Prince of Monaco, Albert II, and almost a dozen former Olympic and Paralympic champions, including five-time synchronized swimming champion Anastasia Davydova and former figure skater Irina Rodnina, who is currently a State Duma deputy. The oldest participant "will be 98-year-old actor Vladimir Zeldin, who starred in numerous famous Soviet films" (MOSCOW TIMES, 10/3).

SHUTTING DOWN: R-SPORT reported "authorities in the capital announced Thursday that at least eight central streets, boulevards and embankments would be sealed off for the first leg of the relay, which starts on Red Square on Monday." The Moscow leg of the record-breaking 65,000km route across Russia "will take two days." The flame "is currently touring 33 Greek towns and cities" (R-SPORT, 10/3). RIA NOVOSTI reported the Russian government "has ordered price caps for plane and train tickets to the southern resort city of Sochi." The decree "fixes prices for plane and train travel to and from airports and railroad stations in the local Krasnodar Territory" starting Nov. 1 through April 16. The cost of inner-city transport, shipping, and laundry and dry-cleaning services in Sochi "will also be frozen" between Jan. 7 and April 16 (RIA NOVOSTI, 10/3). R-SPORT also reported residents of 16 Russian cities "will have the opportunity" to watch the Sochi Olympics at so-called Live Site venues "with big screens and stages." Apart from competition broadcasts, the Live Sites "will feature music and entertainment programs, sports contests and educational activities for kids." Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, and Sochi itself "are among the cities to host the fan zones on central squares" (R-SPORT, 10/3).

In a report based on surveys administered throughout Spain, market research institution Ipsos said that "44% of people in Spain supported the IOC's decision not to choose Madrid as the host of the 2020 Olympics," according to EP. In northern Spain, "64% of citizens indicated they opposed Madrid's candidacy, and this was followed by 53.5% of citizens of the province of Barcelona and 52% of the people of northeast Spain approving the IOC's decision." The most-cited reason by voters "was Spain's poor economic situation" (EP, 10/3).