The Olympic Flame travels to Beijing

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 14:38

Τhe Olympic Flame for the Winter Olympic Games which was lit on Monday, October 18 in Ancient Olympia, began its journey to Beijing.
The flame was handed over by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Spyros Capralos, to the representative of the Organizing Committee, Vice President Yu Zaiqing, for its transfer to the Chinese capital by plane.
The Holy Light of Olympism was brought to the Panathenaic Stadium by the Greel Olympian Evi Moraitidou and Chinese Olympian Li Nina, and the altar was lit by the Greek Champion of Cross Country Paraskevi Ladopoulou.
The Olympic flame was presented to the President of the HOC by priestess Xanthi Georgiou, while the dance of the priestesses was inspired by the choreographer Artemis Ignatiou to a musical composition by Giannis Psimadas. The hymns were played by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Athens. The ceremony was conducted by the Chairman of the HOC Olympic Torch Relay Commission Thanassis Vassiliadis and the head of the ceremony Costas Pantazis.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikramenos, Deputy Minister of Sports Lefteris Avgenakis, Governor of Attica Region George Patoulis, Mayor of Athens Costas Bakogiannis, Deputy Minister of Tourism of Greece Sofia Zacharaki, the Ambassador of China Xiao Junzheng and the Ambassador of the United States of America Geoffrey Pyatt, as well as the Secretary General of the Ministry of Sports George Mavrotas and members of the HOC Plenary Session.
In his speech, the President of the HOC and member of the IOC Spyros Capralos said " Beijing is making history by becoming the first city to host both Summer and Winter Olympic Games. And we are very happy, because by giving you the Flame, we also become part of this story.
We deliver to you here, at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Olympic Games of the modern era took place in 1896, the sacred Light of Olympism. To carry it to your distant yet beautiful country, to continue the remainder of its journey, sending out messages of peace, friendship and brotherhood.
And the pandemic may have prevented us from holding the Olympic Flame Ceremonies in the presence of people, but I am sure that the successful and safe organisation of the Games, will be another victory for humanity against the coronavirus."
The vice president of the Organizing Committee said, " the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging in the world. Under the principle of always placing the lives and health of people front and centre, we will have a different but innovative Olympic flame display and Olympic Torch Relay, one that combines tradition and reality”.
The Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games will open on 4 February 2022. Committed to a green, inclusive, open and clean approach to preparing and hosting the Games, we will deliver a streamlined, safe and splendid Games, which hopefully will help promote the Olympic Movement and the building of a global community of shared future. "
The Olympic Flame handover ceremony took place without the presence of spectators for Covid-19 protection reasons.