Saturday February 28, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
11o C
6o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greece delivers Olympic flame to Sochi organizers

The flame that will burn at next year's Sochi Winter Olympics was handed over to Russia on Saturday in the marble stadium that hosted the first modern Games in 1896.

After a six-day trek across 33 towns in Greece's mainly mountainous northern regions, the flame that was lit last Sunday by the sun's rays at the birthplace of the ancient Games in Olympia was presented to Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak.

From its overnight perch on the ancient Acropolis, the flame travelled through Athens' streets before being carried into the stadium, built in 330 BC, by Greek figure skating champion Panagiotis Markouzios.

As he lit the golden cauldron encircled by priestesses in long, cream-coloured, pleated robes, the crowd erupted in cheers of «Russia! Russia!"

"We are especially emotional,» Hellenic Olympic Committee head Spyros Capralos said. «The flame, for us Greeks, is a piece of our country, a part of our history and a tight bond to our ancestors».

The flame was flown in special safety lanterns from Athens to Moscow on Sunday to begin the longest torch relay in the history of the Winter Games from the Red Square.

It will travel more than 65,000 km, looping around Russia's 83 regions on foot, in sleighs, hot air balloons and even on a trip to space, as Russia prepares to showcase its modern post-Soviet face.

More than 90 percent of the Russian population will be within one hour of the flame before the lighting of the Olympic cauldron takes place at the stadium at the Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 7.

"For me it is a great honor, responsibility and pleasure to be here tonight, on the land that gave birth to the European civilization and presented the world with the Olympic Games,» Kozak said.

"On this momentous day I am telling you with certainty that our country ... will succeed in fulfilling its commitment to the Olympic movement."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to deliver a «brilliant» Games to show how far Russia has come since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

But Russia has come under mounting international criticism over a new anti-gay propaganda law which critics believe is repressive and preparations for the Games will not be plain sailing for the Russian hosts.

Earlier in the day, a group of Greek gay activists raised the rainbow flag outside Greece's Acropolis museum in Athens.

"Russia receives the Olympic flame, a globally recognized symbol of humanitarian ideals,» the Athens-based gay rights group Colour Youth said in a statement.

"Yet the laws in Russia are far from the ideals of human rights when it comes to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer) people, who are tortured, abused and discriminated against. We choose not to be silent this day,» it said.

[Reuters]

ekathimerini.com , Sunday October 6, 2013 (22:07)  
Spanoulis leads Olympiakos to win over Malaga
Ten-man Olympiakos couldn´t overcome Dnipro
Greens lose at Maccabi but preserve head-to-head advantage
Panathinaikos deducted the three points earned at the derby
Tsipras unveils coalition´s first bills, due next week
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set out on Friday his government’s immediate legislative plans, while at the same time insisting he would continue to pursue debt relief and refuse to sign a th...
Berlin clears extension as lenders ramp up pressure
There was strong backing in the German Parliament on Friday for the extension of Greece’s loan agreement but reports suggested that the country’s eurozone partners would continue to keep up ...
Inside News
Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
Greece called into question on Saturday a major debt repayment it must make to the European Central Bank this summer, after acknowledging it faces problems in meeting its obligations to inte...
Piraeus plans are coming in next few weeks
Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on Friday visited the installations of Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT), the local subsidiary of Cosco, with Chinese Ambassador Zou Xiaoli, in another effor...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
A unionist agenda
Maybe Greece will not experience a credit event, “because it is in no one’s interest,” as Minister of State for Coordinating Government Operations Alekos Flambouraris recently assured. Maybe...
EDITORIAL
The beguiling limelight
Too much media exposure is never a good thing and there is no shortage of newcomers in politics who are beguiled by the limelight. What usually comes after this thrall of publicity is the in...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
2. Spanoulis leads Olympiakos to win over Malaga
3. Piraeus plans are coming in next few weeks
4. Slowdown in tourism bookings from Germany
5. Economy grew by 1.3 pct in Q4 of last year
6. Gov’t plans tax on foreign-based funds
more news
Today
This Week
1. A unionist agenda
2. Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
3. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
4. Gov't official: bill reinstating ERT, rehiring staff to go to Parlt on March 5
5. German lawmakers approve extension of bailout program for Greece
6. German MPs begin debate on extending Greek bailout program
Today
This Week
1. Time for Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve
2. Greek bailout deal faces review by euro officials next week
3. Greece says eurozone deal won time as cash bled from banks
4. The ignorance of the West about the culture of Islam
5. Spain said to lead push to hold Greece to terms as Podemos grows
6. A fierce battle looms
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.