European Youth Olympic Festival Kicks Off in Georgia (VIDEO)

Early yesterday Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili officially opened the Festival. The lavish opening ceremony was full of amazing artistic performances combined with traditional and historical Georgian elements.

Head of the Youth Olympic Organisation Alex Axvlediani thanked everyone involved in the process, including PM Garibashvili, the President of the Olympic committee, Mayor of Tbilisi, the Minister for Sport and all the participating sportsmen. Despite the festival being the first of its kind to happen in Georgia, President Giorgi Margvelashvili did not attend the ceremony.

Alex Axvlediani said: “This is our country's great sporting celebration! For the first time in the history of the Youth Olympic Festival, Tbilisi is hosting 6-days of competition instead of the traditional 5! The Organizing Committee has worked very hard and I’m so proud that our dream is about to become reality.In preparing to host this Festival we have delivered several large-scale infrastructure projects! Seven of the eleven sporting venue required were built especially for this festival!”

Alex also stated that the Olympic village was built specially for the athletes. He said they are special to the country and their love and devotion to sport has brought them here. Their participation will become the foundation for future generations and the start of their careers in sport.

“Each of us is a part of history, which is being written right now, right here! Thank you.” He added.

President of the European Youth Olympic Festival Patrick Hickey also remarked that these games are a significant step forwards for Georgia’s sporting development and a step forward in Tbilisi’s recovery, from the floods that hit the city last month.

“Sport has a crucial role to play in providing hope during tough times and the entire European Olympic family is behind Georgia in this endeavour,” – said Patrick.

The international competition will run from July 27th to August 1st. It will cover nine types of sporting events with over 4000 athletes competing from 49 countries.

Nino Ioseliani

Watch the hilights from the EYOF Tbilisi 2015 Opening Ceremony.

27 July 2015 16:09