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APECS: APECS Sweden’s chair Olympic Torch Bearer at the North Pole

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The coordinator of APECS Sweden, Ylva Sjöberg, got the amazing opportunity to go to the North Pole to participate in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch Relay. Each of the 8 arctic council states got the invite to send one representative for the relay. Sweden decided that they wanted to send an early career polar scientist and contacted Ylva. The expedition participants left Murmansk on the nuclear icebreaker 50 let Pobedy on October 15 and reached the North Pole on a record 91 hours later, as the first expedition to reach the pole during the polar night. Onboard were polar scientists from 6 different countries, 3 Olympic medalists and a lot of media to cover the journey. During the trip the participants presented their work on the arctic and Ylva worked to make sure that no one missed the important role that the next generation of polar scientists will play and the importance of supporting them.

The North Pole ice under the full moon and a slight snow fall was absolutely beautiful. The silence of the place stood in stark contrast to the running camera teams during the relay of the flame from the ship to the ice. Well on the ice Arthur Chiligarov, the last torch bearer in the relay, lit the flame at the pole while Ylva and the other torch bearers gathered around waiving their flags. The ceremony was meant to show the international cooperation that exist in the arctic and the sensitivity of the arctic environment.

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Ylva receives the flame from Canadian Torch Bearer Steven Podborski. Photo: Valery Vasilevskiy

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50 Let Pobedy parked at the North Pole for the Olympic Torch Relay. Photo: Valery Vasilevskiy

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Group photo of Torch Bearers. From left: Steve Podborski (Canada), Ylva Sjöberg (Sweden), Lassi Heininen (Finland), Jan-Gunnar Winther (Norway), Elena Kudryashova (Russia), Pat Pitney (USA), Steingrimur Jonsson (Iceland), Christian Marcussen (Denmark). Photo: Valery Vasilevskiy

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