Russian hero Artur Chilingarov was the last of the 11 torchbearers and was given the honor of lighting the cauldron. The other North Pole torchbearers included:
  • Valentin Davydyants, the captain of the ship,
  • Elena Kudryashova, Russia, Director of the Northern Arctic Federal University,
  • Lassi Heininen, Finland, University of Lapland, Professor of Arctic Politics,
  • Jens Petter Nielsen, Norway, UIT – Norway’s Arctic University, Professor of History on Norwegian and Russian Relations,
  • Karen (Pat) Pitney, United States, Vice Chancellor at University of Alaska Fairbanks, Vice President University of the Arctic, and Olympic gold medalist,
  • Steve Podborsky, Canada, Chef de Mission 2014 Canadian Olympic Team and Olympic bronze medalist,
  • Ylva Sjoberg, Sweden, Doctoral Student at Stockholm University and Swedish lead for the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists,
  • Christian Marcussen, Kingdom of Denmark, Senior Advisor Department of Geophysics
  • Jan-Gunnar Winther, Norway, Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute.
The ship, 50 Years of Victory, traveled the distance between Murmansk, Russia to the North Pole in 92 hours, much faster than expected. We arrive on the North Pole October 19, 2013 at 12:37pm Moscow time (2:37pm North Pole time). There was a champagne celebration in the Bridge at the point of the North Pole, 90:00:00 N (see below). The ship then circled to find solid ice for the torch run. The official torch run only took about 15 minutes, but the rehearsals, retakes and multimedia show took until almost midnight at which time the celebration dinner started.

Sochi Olympic Torch Run to the North Pole – A symbol of Arctic Cooperati2Everyone on board had great enthusiasm for this event and special appreciation for the Arctic 8 torchbearers. Rosatom and Rosatomflot, the ships owner and operating company was the main sponsor. At the formal events during the ten days, the comments and toasts often referred to everyone’s appreciation for and anticipation of continued progress of the Arctic Council and the opportunities and challenges that faces the Arctic as the volume of Arctic Ocean travel becomes common place.

The University of the Arctic (UArctic), created as an initiative of the Arctic Council, was well represented at the event and was the common bond among the majority of torchbearers. Five of the torchbearers are from active UArctic member institutions committed to providing strong shared northern voices by creating a strong network of students, researchers, and communities in the Arctic to address is