Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 17:18
The Flame of the Winter Youth Olympic Games started its journey to the city of Lauzanne, following a successful Lighting Ceremony held at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.
The Flame for the “Lausanne 2020” Youth Olympics was traditionally lit by the High Priestess Xanthi Georgiou, who handed it over to the first Torchbearer, the 17year old skier, Christos Marmarellis. The Torch Relay continued inside the Panathenaic Stadium with the Torchbearers Pascal Bitschnau (Switzerland), Fedra Manioudaki (Greece) and Sydney Berta (Switzerland). Then, the HOC President Spyros Capralos handed over the Flame to the President of the Organizing Committee of the Winter Youth Olympic Games «Lausanne 2020» Mrs Virginie Faivre.
Before the Flame was lit, the Priestesses performed a choreography entitled “The Dance of the Nymphs ”, inspired by the choreographer of the Olympic Flame ceremonies Artemis Ignatiou, to the music composition of Giannis Psimadas.
The ceremony was attended by the Member of the International Olympic Committee Mrs Danka Bartekova, the President of the Swiss Olympic Association Mr Jürg STAHL, the Greek Minister of Tourism Haris Theoharis, the Deputy Minister of Sport Lefteris Avgenakis, the President of the International Olympic Academy Isidoros Kouvelos, the Honorary IOC member Lambis Nikolaou and many other prominent personalities.
In his address, the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and IOC Member Mr. Spyros Capralos said: “The birth of the Flame and its journey to the host city will send once more a strong and much needed message for peace, solidarity and fraternity to the four corners of the world. These messages, along with sport and Olympism can contribute to shaping a better world, through initiatives which promote dialogue, mutual understanding and respect. This is what makes the Lighting of the Flame for the Olympic Games special and unique. The Lighting of the Flame is held this time for a relatively new event, which, nevertheless, already holds a prominent place in the conscience of the global sports community. The Youth Olympic Games, since their inception, have shown to the world that they have indeed fulfilled their mission and have contributed to modernizing the Olympic movement.”
The President of the Organizing Committee of the Winter Youth Olympic Games «Lausanne 2020» Mrs Virginie Faivre also addressed a speech: “Today is the first time that the Olympic flame will come back to Switzerland since the Winter Olympic Games of St. Moritz back in 1948. That’s more than 70 years ago.
And to mark this momentous occasion we will be taking the flame across our country, stopping in all 26 cantons for a three month, nationwide Torch Tour where the values of Olympism will be shared and celebrated. Today, we are not only lighting the Olympic Flame, but we are lighting the Olympic spirit of a whole new generation of young people in Switzerland and around the world. We are so honored be entrusted with this responsibility and look forward to welcoming the youth of the world for an incredible Youth Olympic Games in January!”