Tuesday Jul 29, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
31o C
24o 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)  
Volleyball national team second in European League
Ranieri says he has little to change in Greek national team
Olympiakos downs AC Milan 3-0 in friendly
Athens, the Marathon capital of the world for good
Troika review in Athens unaffected by Paris meeting
A meeting between troika and Greek government officials in Paris at the beginning of September does not mean that representatives of Greece’s lenders will not then travel to Athens to carry ...
Soldiers set to sue over wages
Members of the armed forces and emergency services look set to take legal action to have their wages restored to pre-2012 levels after the government suggested it would not raise their pay t...
Inside News
Taxpayers can designate account protected from seizures to cover state debts
Taxpayers are as of Tuesday able to designate a bank account at which they can hold up to 1,500 euros in deposits without fear that it will be confiscated cover any debts to the state. The d...
BoC eyes bond sale after raising 1 bln euros
LONDON/NICOSIA – Bank of Cyprus, which has just raised 1 billion euros from investors, plans to sell up to 1 billion euros in bonds in September, chief executive John Hourican said, a move t...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
Through insecurity comes optimism
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras recently expressed his optimism regarding the quota of 180 Parliamentary deputies required for the election of Greece’s next president, in order for the countr...
EDITORIAL
Futile policy
The policy that Israel has been pursuing vis-a-vis the Palestinians is wrong and futile. Current tactics have failed to resolve the security issue and, at the same time, they are rapidly dra...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Troika review in Athens unaffected by Paris meeting
2. Soldiers set to sue over wages
3. Taxpayers can designate account protected from seizures to cover state debts
4. Nimetz in Athens without concrete ideas on name dispute
5. BoC eyes bond sale after raising 1 bln euros
6. MPs question whether ELSTAT chief should stay
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece names fifth privatization agency chief in four years
2. Archaeological council bans international climbers' gathering at Meteora
3. World’s largest solar boat on Greek mission
4. Venizelos to meet Nimetz in Athens
5. Tsipras discusses Cyprus with Anastasiades in Athens
6. More than 120,000 households to receive special benefit
Today
This Week
1. Climber dies in Mount Olympus fall
2. Unequal after death
3. Greek sovereign debt at 174.1 percent of GDP in first quarter
4. Hedge fund Dromeus turns Greek tragedy to triumph with 160 pct gain
5. Quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
6. Front-line threats
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.