By Tom Degun

Sochi 2014 relayJanuary 22 - Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partner Coca-Cola has begun its campaign to select 2,014 Torchbearers with less than nine months before the journey gets underway.

Russian citizens aged 14 and over have until March 17 this year to apply to take part in the historic event.

The applicants will then be narrowed down to the lucky 2,014 Torchbearers by a special independent panel made up of renowned Russian athletes, actors and musicians.

These include double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva, double ice hockey World Championship gold medallist Alexander Ovechkin, Russian rock star Ilya Lagutenko and Russian television presenter and actress Tatyana Lazareva.

To promote the event, Coca-Cola have already launched their week-long exhibition in Moscow to support the launch of the Nomination Campaign which features exhibits from past Olympic Torch Relays, including Torches, Torchbearers' uniform and exclusive photos and memorabilia from the Moscow 1980 Olympic Winter Games.

Yelena Isinbayeva during Singapore 2010 Torch RelayRussia’ double Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva is part of Coca-Cola’s independent panel that will select 2,014 Sochi Torchbearers

On Friday (January 25), an exhibition titled "History and Future of the Olympic Torch Relay with Coca-Cola" will leave Moscow and go on a 13-city tour of Russia, with visitors given the chance to hold the Torch.

The exhibition will last two days in each city.

"The Olympic Torch Relay is a chance for everyone to join the Olympic Movement, to feel a part of a single whole, a part of the huge country," said Sochi 2014 President and chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko.

"It is very important to convey to the people of Russia detailed information on this unique possibility.

"Therefore it is difficult to overestimate the work of the organisers of Nomination Campaign."

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay is due to start on October 7 this year while it will cover 65,000 kilometres in 123 days and pass through 2,900 towns and cities.

Coca-Cola is one of three Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners alongside Ingosstrakh Insurance Company and JSC Russian Railways Company.

Coca-Cola is also longest continuous Worldwide Olympic Partner of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) having sponsored the Amsterdam 1928 Olympic Games and has supported every Olympic Games since.

To apply to take part in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay click here.

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