By David Gold

Kazan 2013_Torch_July_20_July 21 - The flame for the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan next year is making its way around the world after being lit in Paris at the Sarbonne University.

The flame was lit in the French capital, where the first World Student Games were held in 1923.

Georges Molini, the former President of Sorbonne, lit the Flame, handing it to Vladimir Leonov, the head of the executive directorate of Kazan 2013.

Leonov then handed the flame to the first torchbearer, and said: "The Universiade flame is a symbol of unity, friendship and peace within the international student community.

"This time it is crafted in the shape of a tulip, which is a detail on traditional Tatar ornaments, and contains the image of the Universiade inside."

During the Lighting Ceremony, the Flame was placed in a special container and handed it to Alexander Ershov, the rector of Mumansk State Technical University in Russia.

Kazan 2013_students_light_Flame_July_20_Students representing the five continents light the Torch

The flame was then handed to Nikolay Zorchenko, the captain of the ship Sedov, which is carrying the Flame on its worldwide voyage before the Opening Ceremony in Kazan on July 6.

The four cadets who will protect the Flame then took an oath to "protect the Universiade Flame with honour and dignity".

The Sedov departed from the French port of Brest on its year-long 45,000 nautical mile journey, the first time in history that the flame is being transported by sea.

International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Claude Louis-Gallien will join the team on the Sedov and visit three ports during the voyage.

Stop offs for the ship will include Casablanca, Montevideo, Tahiti, Manila, Vladivostok, Nagasaki and Singapore.

Universiade Flame_aboard_the_Sedov_July_20The Universiade Flame arrives aboard the Sedov

On its trip, the Flame will be taken to a number of key events, including Formula One in Singapore, a marathon rally in Sydney and festivities in the United States dedicated to World Student Day.

The Torch will find its way to Moscow by the end of this year for the start of the Russian phase of the relay.

On its way there, the flame will be carried across 27 leading Russian universities and to the new football stadium in Kazan where the Opening Ceremony of the Universiade will take place.

During the record breaking relay, 2,013 torchbearers will visit 54 cities, with more than 1.5 million students involved worldwide.

A total of 13,500 athletes from 170 countries will compete in the Universiade next year.

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