(ATR) There are less than four days until the beginning of the biggest sports event in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.
The European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Sarajevo is welcoming 46 Olympic Committees, with more than 1,600 athletes from 14 to 18 years, competing in alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, short track, skating speed, snowboarding and curling.
The EYOF will be from February 9 to 16.
Organizing Committee sources said that among the guests will be presidents and general secretaries of all European national Olympic committees, the entire Executive Board of European Olympic Committees, led by President Janez Kocijancic, as well as representatives of the International Olympic Committee.
The Flame of Peace is on its journey after being lit on January 31 with an arrival on February 10 at Olympic Stadium “Asim Ferhatović Hase”, the same venue for the opening ceremony of the 1984 Winter Games.
Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka took the torch at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, in a ceremony organized by the EOC which included Nenad Vukovic, the mayor of East Sarajevo.
At the time of the XIV Olympics the stadium was named Kosevo, built in 1947.
The stadium was badly damaged during the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995 and underwent another thorough reconstruction following the war.
This sports arena was then named after Asim Ferhatović-Hase, a legendary player for FC Sarajevo ..
The park currently has a seating capacity of 36,500.
According to Sarajevo Times,
General Secretary of the Olympic Committee of BiH Said Fazlagic stated that “preparations are going as planned even with certain problems that are being solved”.
EOC Meets Belarusian Prime Minister on Minsk 2019
Likewise EOC President Janez Kocijancic and EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi met with Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Rumas at EOC Headquarters in Rome today, 6 February.
EOC leaders with Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas (second from right) (EOC)
The visit comes to strengthen the cooperation between Belarus and the EOC ahead of Europe’s premier multisport event, which will take place in Minsk from 21-30 June 2019, according EOC statement.
EOC President congratulated Rumas, who is also Chairman of the Republican Organising Committee for the 2nd European Games Minsk 2019, for the excellent work that, along with Minsk European Games Organising Committee (MEGOC), they are doing to make the European Games a successful event.
“135 days from today the biggest multisport event in Europe will kick off and I must say that the Belarusian government is fully committed to support MEGOC,” Rumas said. “To us, the European Games mean a lot, they will raise our country’s image and showcase its progress”.
The organization of the “Flame of Peace” lighting ceremony was also on the agenda. The event will take place at the historical and iconic monument “Ara Pacis” in Rome on May 3. From there, the Torch Relay will start and the athletes of the Belarusian Climbing and Mountaineering Federation will bring the Flame of Peace to the top of Mont Blanc on May 4-7.
“The Flame of the 2nd Minsk 2019 European Games will travel towards Belarus by road, passing through the European countries of Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Poland,” Belarus Prime Minister said. “It represents a very emblematic moment for us and will open up Belarus to the world.”
With over 6,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 50 countries expected to descend on Minsk, the 2nd European Games represent the largest sporting event ever hosted in Belarus and a turning point for the country.
Written by Miguel Hernandez.
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