Hürriyet Daily News’ Yinanç to carry Sochi 2014 Olimpic torch

Hürriyet Daily News’ Yinanç to carry Sochi 2014 Olimpic torch

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Hürriyet Daily News’ Yinanç to carry Sochi 2014 Olimpic torch

Barçın Yinanç ran 10 km in last summer’s Bozcaada half marathon. A first star diver, she is the captain of the Turkish journalists team that participate to races organized by Ski Club of International Journalists.

Barçın Yinanç and Yonca Tokbaş, two journalists and sports enthusiasts, will represent Turkey as torchbearers for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi this week.

Yinanç, the op-ed editor for the Hürriyet Daily News, and Tokbaş, a columnist for daily Hürriyet, will be the two torchbearers from Turkey to carry the Olympic flame that will make a record 65,000-kilometer journey ending in Sochi, which will host the 2014 Olympic Winter Games starting Feb. 7.

Yinanç started her career as a diplomatic reporter. In her 23th year in the profession, she has also written articles and conducted interviews on the Olympic Games.

A tennis player, a one-star diver and a jogger, sports have always had strong presence in her life. She has also been skiing for the past 10 years. Yinanç is a member of the Turkey branch of the Ski Club of International Journalists (SCIJ), which organizes ski championships among journalists every year. It has more than 2,000 members from 46 countries. The Turkey branch of the SCIJ hosted around 200 journalists from 40 countries in Erzurum in 2012.


Yonca Tokbaş is a marathon runner.
She recently ran the Istanbul
marathon last November.

Tokbaş has underlined the importance of sports as well as charity runs in her articles in Hürriyet. She runs marathons where she has raised important sums to contribute to Adım Adım (Step-by-Step), a volunteer-based social initiative in Turkey that encourages people to take up sports such as running, trekking, swimming and cycling to raise funds for social causes.

Yinanç and Tokbaş will carry the Olympic flame tomorrow in Nizhny Novgorod, the fourth largest city in Russia. The city will also be one of the host cities for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

After traveling through Greece, the torch was carried to Russia, where the relay began in
Moscow’s Red Square on Oct. 7, 2013. Around 14,000 torchbearers are taking part in the relay, the most ever.

The torch has been to several unusual places no Olympic flame has been before, visiting the North Pole, space in the company of Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky and Lake Baikal, arguably Russia’s most famous natural landmark.

Underwater swimmers dove 15 meters down into the lake with three special torches that can burn underwater at a temperature of 2,000 degrees Celsius.

Inspired by the Firebird of Russian folklore, the meter-long torch weighs almost 2 kilograms.
The route has been designed to ensure that around 90 percent of Russia’s population will be within an hour of the relay at some stage, allowing approximately 130 million residents to participate in the event.

Sochi 2014 will be the first Olympics that Russia has hosted since the Soviet era. President Vladimir Putin hopes to make the Games a showcase for the country’s re-emergence as a global power. Sochi is expected to be the most expensive Games ever at more than $50 billion.

Last week’s twin suicide bombings in Volgograd underlines the central government’s troubled relationship with the predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region, of which Sochi is a part.