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President Traian Basescu received the Olympic flame of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) on Saturday at the Presidential Palace. The Festival is organized for the first time in our country.
“This was the first time when the Olympic flame was lit in Greece and taken to Romania. The Olympic flame transited Romanian territory before, on the occasion of the Moscow Olympics and the Berlin Olympics but this is the first time when the Olympic flame was lit in Greece in order to stay in Romania,” President Basescu stated.
The event was attended by Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee (COSR) President Octavian Morariu, Youth and Sports Minister Nicolae Banicioiu and Octavian Belu, the coach of Romania’s Olympic artistic gymnastics team.
Ivan Patzaichin was the first bearer of the FOTE 2013 flame in the relay race that started from the COSR headquarters and totaled 15 kilometers, going through important points in Bucharest, such as the Victoria Palace, the Palace of Parliament, the Presidential Palace, the City Hall and the Basarab Overpass.
Approximately 70 persons took part in the relay race, including Olympic champions Alina Dumitru, Laura Badea, Camelia Potec, Monica Rosu and Gabriela Szabo. After a four-hour race through Bucharest, the Olympic flame returned to the COSR headquarters and then left for Brasov on Sunday at 9 AM.
Youngsters with ages of 14 to 18 will take part in the European Youth Olympic Festival on February 17-22. The athletes will compete in eight winter sports – alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, artistic skating, ice hockey, speed skating, snowboarding and ski jumping. The events will take place in Brasov, Rasnov, Predeal, Fundata and Poiana Brasov.
Approximately 1,450 athletes and officials from 45 countries are expected to take part in the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF). They will stay at the “Olympic village” specially prepared in Poiana Brasov, an “Olympic village” that consists of five hotels.