The official Paralympic and Olympic flags have been transferred from Vancouver, Canada-site of the 2010 Winter Games-to Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Games. The journey of the flags began with a charter flight from Vancouver and continued on a train with Sochi 2014 branding. It ended with a special motorcade to their final destination, the Sochi City Administration Square.
On arrival in Sochi, the Olympic and Paralympic Flags were handed to marines and coast guards, who passed them to 2010 Vancouver Games athletes and Sochi 2014 Ambassadors Nikita Kriukov and Irek Zaripov. The two raised the flags as the Olympic and Paralympic anthems played. According to paralympic.org, Sochi 2014 President and CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko said, “This is a historic day for Sochi, as my native city has become the official keeper of the main symbols of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. We are next! Now, the most crucial and difficult stage of preparation stands before us. Our presentations during the handover ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic flags were bright and memorable events. The entire world now is expecting us to stage an outstanding Games in 2014. We are moving toward this goal with confidence.”
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also spoke in honor of the event, noting that the Games, to be held February 7-23, 2014, will mark the first time that Russia has hosted either the Olympic or Paralympic Games.
The two flags will be kept in the foyer of the Sochi Administration building, and will be raised on special occasions.
For more information on Sochi 2014, visit www.sochi2014.com