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The 11th edition of the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival was inaugurated on Sunday evening through an impressive ceremony that took place on the arena of the Sports High School in Brasov. There were 3,000 people in the stands. It was a historic moment for Romania, a moment that respected the model of opening ceremonies at the Olympic Games.
According to the competition’s official website, delegations from 45 European countries took part in the festivities, being watched by notable guests such as Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, Patrick Hickey, President of the Association of European Olympic Committees, and Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta. According to eyowf2013.ro, in his speech IOC President Jacques Rogge stated: “Today is maybe the beginning of a long sports journey. I hope that this journey will lead you towards the second edition of the Youth Winter Olympic Games Lillehammer 2018 or maybe even higher to the Winter Olympic Games Soci 2014. It’s the best thing I wish for you and I also wish all your dreams will come true.”
The athletes (ages 14-16) of participating nations went by the officials and the audience, carrying the flags of their countries and receiving generous applauses. The fans and officials also listened to the Olympic anthem and watched the hoisting of the Olympic flag. The Olympic flame relay took place too, the flame being taken from the Brasov City Hall to the Sports High School arena where the lighting of the Olympic flame took place. The flame will be taken to Poiana Brasov where it will burn throughout the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival. Fencers Rares Dumitrescu and Mihai Covaliu, multiple medal-winners at the Olympic Games and at World and European championships, carried the Olympic flame on the last stretch, within the Sports High School arena.
Germany’s Victoria Carl won the women’s 7.5-km free style cross-country race on Monday in Rasnoavei Valley, with a time of 20 minutes and 15.3 seconds. Romania’s Erzebet Sara finished the race on 25th place (22 minutes and 54.2 seconds), being the best-ranking Romanian in the race.
An unfortunate event took place on Monday, as a spectator watching the ski jumping competition at Valea Carbunari was bitten by a dog. The man was an invitee of OMV, the company that invested EUR 5 M in three take-off ramps. He is presently in hospital.