11th edition of the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival opens in Brasov

The opening ceremony of the 11th edition of the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOWF) was held on February 17 evening at the arena of the Sports High School of Brasov, in the presence of thousands of sports lovers, delegates of the 45 participating countries, world sports personalities and politicians, including President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge, Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Chairman of the Association of European Olympic Committees Patrick Hickey.

The ceremony started with a welcome message in Romanian, French and English extended to the foreign guests and the Unison choir singing Romania's national anthem.It continued with a parade of the delegations led by Greece and followed by the other participating countries in an alphabetic order. The Romanian delegation closed the parade. Carrying Romania's flag was cross-country skier Daniel Pripici. The most awaited moment was the entrance of the Olympic torch and the lighting of the Olympic Flame. It continued with the athletes, coaches and referees taking the Olympic Oath delivered by Romania's jumping ski athlete Daniela Haralambie.

The European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOWF) is held in Brasov County, at the following sports venues: Predeal (cross-country skiing and snowboarding), Cheile Gradistei - Fundata (biathlon), Poiana Brasov (alpine ski, figure skating and short track), Brasov (hockey) and Râşnov - Valea Carbunarii (ski jumping), February 17 - 22. There are 890 athletes aged betwen 14 and 18 years from 45 countries competing in the festival.

Romania has registered a delegation of 60 athletes, the third largest after Russia (67) and the Czech Republic (64).

Adapted from AGERPRES