Special Olympics 2023 ‘Flame of Hope’ Lit in Athens and Presented to Berlin Games Officials

ATHENS – The ‘Flame of Hope’ was lit on Wednesday and presented to officials and athletes of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 in two separate special events, one at Zappeion Hall and another in the grounds of the German School of Athens.

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou was present in the torch-lighting ceremony that was held at Zappeion Hall, prior to the Flame’s arrival at the German School.

Special Olympics 2023 ‘Flame of Hope’ lit in Athens and presented to Berlin Games officials. (Photo by MICHALIS KARAGIANNIS/EUROKINISSI)

At Zappeion Hall, Sakellaropoulou and German Ambassador to Greece Ernst Reichel presented the flame to Sven Albrecht (CEO Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023), Mahmut Özdemir (Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Ministry of the Interior for Home Affairs) and Dr. Nicola Böcker-Giannini (State Secretary for Sport at the German Senate Department for Internal Affairs & Sport).

They in turn presented the torch to Special Olympics athletes Vassiliki Katsoudi and Natascha Wermelskirchen, who, together with Berlin police officer Maja Seidel, started the first torch run through the streets of Athens to the German School of Athens, briefly stopping at 12 locations in Athens.

Special Olympics 2023 ‘Flame of Hope’ lit in Athens and presented to Berlin Games officials. (Photo by MICHALIS KARAGIANNIS/EUROKINISSI)

Addresses were delivered by Special Olympics Hellas president, Ambassador Dionyssios Kodellas, and Special Olympics regional president & managing director for Europe and Eurasia David Evangelista.

The flame will travel from Athens to Berlin on Thursday. The opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games 2023 will be held at Berlin’s ‘Olympiastadion’ on June 17, while the games will be held through June 25.


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