BREST, 13 May (BelTA) – The Flame of Peace relay of the 2nd European Games set off on a journey across Belarus from the Brest Hero Fortress Memorial on 12 May, BelTA has learned.
“The 2nd European Games is a festival that emphasizes our country's attention to the support and development of the Olympic movement and a healthy lifestyle. The flame had traveled thousands of kilometers through seven European countries before it reached Belarus. We are welcoming it in Brest, the symbolic gate of our Motherland. A long way to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War began from the walls of the Brest Fortress. The Flame of Peace relay will also start its way from here today,” Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Chairman of the National Organizing Committee of the 2nd European Games Igor Petrishenko said.
Brest was the first Belarusian city to welcome the flame of the 2nd European Games. “On 9 May, thousands of Brest residents and guests marked Victory Day at this sacred place. Today, Brest is welcoming the flame which symbolizes peace and creation, not war and destruction. This is a special honor for the city which is marking its 1,000th birthday this year,” Brest Mayor Aleksandr Rogachuk said.
The Flame of Peace was carried through the central streets of the city by well-known Belarusians, including natives of Brest Oblast. The torch relay in Brest was kicked off by Olympic champion Yulia Nestsiarenka who passed it to her coach Viktor Yaroshevich.
One of the first torchbearers in Belarus became Olympic bronze medalist Natalya Gelakh. “It is difficult to express the emotions. Honestly speaking, I am very much excited to be trusted such an honorary mission. It is great that the relay starts in Brest. By doing this we attach the attention to the 2nd European Games, and also to sport popularization. A lot has been done to develop sports in our country,” the athlete said.
Apart from Brest, the torch relay will visit five cities of the region. The Flame of Peace will travel to Kamenets, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, Pinsk, Mikashevichi, Baranovichi and Kossovo (Tadeusz Kosciuszko's native land) in Ivatsevichi District. About 60 people will carry the torch across Brest Oblast.
The flame of the multi-sport forum will visit all the oblasts of the country: Grodno Oblast on 18-23 May, Vitebsk Oblast – on 24-29 May, Mogilev Oblast – 30 May-4 June, Gomel Oblast – 5-10 June, and Minsk Oblast – 11-16 June.
On 12 May, the charity run #velcombegom kicked off its 5th season. The campaign aims to support children-athletes with disabilities. The participants of the charity run are expected to cover the record high 200,000km over 50 days. The charity assistance from velcom A1 will also make a record high Br200,000.More about Sport