The 59th International Olympic Academy (IOA) Session for Young Participants opened on Pnyx Hill in Athens on Sunday evening.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, the President of the Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos and many other dignitaries attended the ceremony under the shade of the Acropolis.
President Bach at the Hill of the Pnyx. Opening ceremony of the 59th International Session for Young Participants of the International Olympic Academy pic.twitter.com/QOreWHUNWU
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) June 2, 2019
The president of the International Olympic Academy, Isidoros Kouvelos, welcomed the young people from all over the world while Spyros Kapralos, the president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, delivered the welcoming address.
The main theme of this year’s session is “Olympic Diplomacy and Peace.”
A total of 171 young people from 91 countries will attend the the conference, which will run until June 15.
Fourteen coordinators and nine key speakers will helm the Olympic Academy sessions.
During his speech, President Pavlopoulos lauded the “long-lasting spark of the Olympic Spirit and the fundamental principles and values of the Olympic Movement,” asking the participants to take these values back to their homelands, “as torchbearers of the Olympic light.”
Pavlopoulos said that the annual summit aims to promote and spread the fundamental principles of the Olympic Spirit.
He added that it was in the area of Pnyx Hill, in the sixth century BC, when the Athenian State implemented the principles of direct democracy, egalitarianism and equality in speech.
Olympic champion sprinter Valery Borzov, winner of the 1972 100 meter and 200 meter sprint events for the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games in Munich, was honored during the Pynx Hill event. He was given the “Olympia” plaque, while the ”Athena” award was given to the Olympic Academy of Taipei.
The International Olympic Academy functions as a multicultural interdisciplinary center which aims to study, enrich and promote the spirit of Olympism.
With information from AMNA
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