Help us make a difference!

Flame of Hope lights for Antwerp 2014

August 28, 2014

Special Olympics athletes to participate in ancient ceremony which will see Torch lit by the rays of the sun.


For more information on Antwerp 2014 visit

Road to Antwerp 2014

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.   


Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.


Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!


Follow Us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 226 worldwide locations.


Our Supporters

The Christmas Records TrustFunding Special Olympics work worldwide.Learn More »

Our Supporters

Annenberg FoundationSupports our goals for coaches’ excellence.Learn More »

Our Supporters

Bank of AmericaProud partner of Special Olympics.Learn More »

Our Supporters

CITGOOfficial Fuel Sponsor for the Unified Relay Across AmericaLearn More »

Our Supporters

Coca-ColaSpecial Olympics Founding Partner.Learn More »

Our Supporters

ESPNGlobal Presenting Sponsor of Unified Sports®.Learn More »

Our Supporters

EssilorOfficial global supplier of ophthalmic lenses.Learn More »

Our Supporters

AIPSGlobal Impact Partner for Special Olympics.Learn More »

Our Supporters

Lions ClubSupports access to quality eye care.Learn More »

Our Supporters

MattelSupports Special Olympics Youth Programs.Learn More »

Our Supporters

MicrosoftRevolutionizing information systems that power our games.Learn more »

Our Supporters

MTM RecognitionSupplier of awards and medals for our athletes.Learn More »

Our Supporters

Perfect Sense DigitalSpecial Olympics' leading digital partner.Learn More »

Our Supporters

Procter & GambleCelebrating over 30 years of partnership with Special Olympics.Learn More »

Our Supporters

SafewayRaises funds and awareness for people with disabilities.Learn More »

Our Supporters

SàfiloSupplies optical frames and sunglasses.Learn More »

Our Supporters

Toys“R”UsHelping children of all abilities experience #MyFirstSportsMomentLearn More »

Our Supporters

UNICEFProvides greater inclusion of children with disabilities.Learn More »

Our Supporters

Y&RPowering our global youth marketing campaign.Learn more »

Special Olympics Blog

The Start of the Solution

Young people from around the globe with and without intellectual disabilities are coming together at the SOGenUin Summit as part of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games with one goal - to change the world.


read more »

Posted on 2015-07-23 by Natalie

go to blog »


Special Olympics - Become a Fan

Your Donation Helps Transform Lives Through Sports!

Become a Sustaining Partner today - monthly giving is an easy and convenient way to support trainings and competitions all year long.

For a limited time, when you become a Sustaining Partner a generous donor will match your generosity with an additional $50 gift to Special Olympics.