The Lighting Ceremony of The Flame of Hope for the Special Olympics European Summer Games – Antwerp 2014, will take place on Thursday, September 4th 2014, in the Ancient Zone of Alexandroupolis at 11.30 a.m.
At the Lighting Ceremony of the Flame, which is organized by Special Olympics Hellas in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Prefecture of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace and the Municipality of Alexandroupolis, addresses will be made by the President of Special Olympics Hellas, Mrs.Joanna Despotopoulou, the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, Mr. Ioannis Andrianos, the Mayor of Alexandroupolis, Mr.Vangelis Lambakis, the President of the Organizing Committee of the Special Olympics European Summer Games – Antwerp 2014, Mr.Guido Kestens and the President of Special Olympics Europe - Eurasia, Mrs.Mary Davis.
The Lighting Ceremony will be honored by the presence of dignitaries from the fields of culture and sports – from Greece and from abroad - as well as representatives from international foundations and representatives from the international media.
The role of the Priestesses in the choreography will be impersonated by the Rhythmic Gymnastics’ Athletes of Special Olympics Hellas and students of the dance school of Fokas Evangelinos, who is the Artistic Director of the Ceremony. The choreography setting is the work of Mrs.Amanda Kougioufa and Mrs.Vasiliki Bartsouli. The High Priestess of the Ceremony, will be Iliana Simeonidou, athlete of Special Olympics in Rhythmic Gymnastics. Flute performance by Mrs.Tatiana Koutsoumba.
The National Anthems of Greece, Belgium and Special Olympics will be performed by the Band of the XII Army Division of Infantry. Masters of Ceremony will be Mr.Alexis Kostalas, and the athlete of Special Olympics Hellas, Mr.Yiannis Stratigopoulos.
After the Lighting of the Flame, the Torch Run will follow by the “Guardians of the Flame of Hope” – members from the Alexandroupolis Police Departments, and Special Olympics Hellas’ athletes. The Torch Run coordination is under Mrs.Artemis Vassilikopoulou, National Director of Special Olympics Hellas.
After its five day course (4-8 September) within Greek soil in Komotini, Kavala, Thassos, Thessaloniki and Athens, “The Flame of Hope” will depart on Tuesday September 9th, on flight A3 620 of Aegean Airlines at 8:30 a.m. to Brussels. The Flame will be escorted from Athens by the 74 Hellenic Delegation members, that will participate in 9 sports in the Special Olympics European Summer Games in Antwerp, whereas the Organizing Committee of the Games and European Union officials will welcome the Flame at the forecourt of the European Parliament. Within 9-13 September the Torch Run will take place on Belgian soil, and on the evening of September 13th its journey will terminate at the Opening Ceremony at Palais 12- Brussels Expo Stadium, where the altar will be lit, to declare the Opening of the Games.
The events of the Lighting Ceremony of The Flame are being supported by Special Olympics Hellas staff and volunteers.
The Ceremony will be covered by local media of Alexandroupolis, Thraki Net and Delta TV, NERIT, as well as international broadcasting networks.