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Paralympic Torch Relay Begins in Far East

Andrei Gladkov and Valentina Etton holding aloft Paralympic torches at Cape Dezhnyov.

The Paralympic torch relay has begun its procession across Russia, following an early-morning ceremony in the country's Far East.

The torch was lit at 5:10 a.m. Wednesday as the sun rose on Cape Dezhnyov, the easternmost tip of Russia, Interfax reported.

The first torchbearers were Andrei Gladkov, a 17-year-old with a musculoskeletal disability who won medals for swimming at the London Paralympic Games, and Valentina Etton, who has won numerous local decathlon competitions in the Chukotka autonomous district.

Torches will also be lit throughout the day in the Far Eastern cities of Vladivostok, Yakutsk, Magadan, Anadyr and Khabarovsk.

Unlike the Sochi Olympic torch, which was carried across the country and up to the International Space Station, the Paralympic flame will be lit daily in several cities across a selected region.

The torch relay will be held in Moscow on March 2, starting from the All-Russia Exhibition Center and passing by Moscow State University en route to Luzhniki Stadium, where a concert will be held.

The Winter Paralympic Games will take place in Sochi from March 7-16.

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