The flame for the “Gangwon 2024” Winter Youth Olympic Games, which will be held in South Korea from January 19 to February 1, 2024, was lit by the sun’s rays at the Panathenaic Stadium.
The Flame was lit in the hands of the High priestess Xanthi Georgiou and then handed over by the President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee and IOC member, Mr. Spyros Capralos, to the Co-President of the “Gangwon 2024” Organizing Committee, Mr. Jin Jongoh.
Earlier, a torch relay took place at the Panathenaic Stadium, with the Greek cross-country skiing champion Maria Belli carrying the first torch, followed by figure skating champion Kim Yungyeom, alpine skiing champion Apostolos Vougioukas and Freestyle skiing champion Yun Shin-Ee.
The ritual of the Priestesses, inspired by the choreographer Artemis Ignatiou, with the musical composition of Dimitris Papadimitriou and with the general coordination of the Chairman of HOC’s Olympic Torch Relay Commission Mr. Athanasios Vassiliadis, took place in the emblematic stadium where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held. The costumes of the Priestesses were created by the famous designer Eleni Kyriakou.
In his speech, Mr. Capralos said: ” The birth of the Sacred Flame along with its journey will once again send the global and eternal message for peace and solidarity all over the world. There is no doubt that Sport and Olympism do contribute to the creation of a better world, by promoting and strengthening dialogue, mutual understanding and unity, all very much needed in today’s world.
With the lighting of the flame, feelings are awakened in all of us, modern Greeks. The sparkle of the flame connects us to our history, the tradition and the gift our country has given to humanity, the Olympic Games.
“We are very proud to deliver today, here at the Panathenaic Stadium, the Flame for the Fourth Winter Youth Olympic Games.”
Organizing Committee Co-President Mr. Jin Jongoh said in his address: ” The flame, lit here at Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held, will once again be transported to South Korea. The Flame will travel 23 cities nationwide on a Journey of Solidarity engaging young people with boundless dreams and passion towards a shining future, united through sports.”
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Sports Mr. Yannis Vroutsis, the Mayor of Athens Mr. Kostas Bakoyannis, the President of the International Olympic Academy Mr. Isidoros Kouvelos, the President of the International Fencing Federation Mr. Manolis Katsiadakis, the Secretary General of the International Committee of the Mediterranean Games Mr. Iakovos Filippoussis, the Secretary General of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Mr. Manolis Kolympadis, personalities from the sports and cultural sector and the members of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Plenary.
At the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony, the National Anthems were performed by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Athens.