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Camel carries Olympic flame during Sochi torch relay

Olympic Torch Relay Camel

A procession of two-humped camels highlighted the Sochi Olympic torch relay’s visit to the city of Chelyabinsk on Tuesday.

One of the camels, Barsik, carried torchbearer Evgeny Zemskov, a motocross racer, through the city center in five-degree weather, according to R-Sport.

Chelyabinsk was the site above which a meteor exploded on Feb. 15. The flame was also set to visit Traktor Arena, which was damaged by the meteorite.

Athletes who win Olympic events on Feb. 15, 2014, will be offered supplemental medals with bits of the meteorite inserted into them, it was reported in July.

Camels are significant in Chelyabinsk. Just look at its flag.

Voice of Russia provides more context:

The camel is regarded as Chelyabinsk’s symbol for more than 200 years. Starting from the late 18th century, the animal has been depicted on the city’s emblem, emphasizing the importance of Chelyabinsk as a trade center. In 2002, the camel appeared on the emblem of the Chelyabinsk region. Camels can be seen at most of the important public events in Chelyabinsk. One even has a chance to ride a camel or take a picture with it in the city’s parks.

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