ALMATY - All 16 cities in Kazakhstan that participate in the Universiade Torch Relay have named those who will be given the honour to carry the flame. Out of a thousand torchbearers, 70% are students aged 17 to 28, who have achieved success in sciences, culture and sport.
The Torch Relay team also include the most active citizens, many of whom have achievements in sport and social life: Zhaksylyk Ushkempirov, 1980 Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling; Ermakhan Ibraimov, 2000 Olympic champion in boxing; Daulet Turlykhanov, 1988 Silver Olympic medal winner, Merited Coach of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Nazym Kyzaibai, two-time World champion in boxing; Dmitry Balandin, 2016 Rio Olympics champion in swimming; Moldir Mekenbaeva, World champion in jiu-jitsu in Abu-Dhabi, and many other people who, over the years, have made Kazakhstan proud for their achievements.
It is worth mentioning that the selection of torch-bearers was done in three phases. First phase started on 1 September 2016, and covered the higher institutions in Kazakhstan. The institutes, universities and academies submitted their applications based on internal selections. Second phase involved regional headquarters who were responsible for the Torch Relay in the largest cities. Their task was to control the general selection process of torch-bearers and make sure no important or interesting candidates were missed. Aside from that, the second phase was also the time when other stars were determined—winners of previous Universiades, stars and prominent figures from the field of sport, sciences, and culture.
During the third phase, everyone was given the opportunity to apply via www.torchrelay.kz to be signed on as a torch-bearer.
The flame of the 28th World Winter Universiade 2017 will be ignited on 25 January 2017 in Astana. Within five days thereafter, each oblast centre will have their own Lighting Ceremony and host their own Torch Relay stage. Once the Torch Relay has made its way across all of the country’s regions, sixteen torch-bearers will deliver the Flame to Almaty and will put their Torches together at the Opening Ceremony. A hundred torch-bearers will carry the Flame in Almaty.
In total, the Flame of the Universiade will cover a distance of over 22,500 km, of which 200 km will be on foot. Air Astana, the official carrier for the Winter Universiade, will deliver the Flame from the regions to Almaty. Therefore, the remaining 22,300 km will be on the way to Almaty, where the official Opening Ceremony will take place on 29 January 2017.
25 January 2017, Astana – the Flame of the 28th World Winter Universiade 2017 will be lit;
26 January 2017, the Flame will be ignited in the oblast centres: Ust-Kamenogorsk, Pavlodar, Kokshetau, Petropavlovsk, Kostanai, Karaganda;
27 January 2017 – cities of Aktobe, Uralsk, Atyrau, Aktau;
28 January – cities of Kyzylorda, Shymkent, Taraz, Taldykorgan;
29 January – the Flame Lighting Ceremony will be held at the Kazakh State National Al-Farabi University in Almaty.
(Source: OC Almaty 2017)