Greece’s President Prokopios Pavlopoulos on Sunday officially declared the start of the 59th International Olympic Academy (IOA) Session for Young Participants on the Pnyx Hill in Athens, in the presence of International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
Joining the President was Isidoros Kouvelos, president of the International Olympic Academy, who welcomed young people from all over the world while the president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spyros Kapralos delivered a welcome speech.
The main topic of the session is "Olympic Diplomacy and Peace". The session for young participants will run until June 15 with the participation of 171 young people from 91 countries, 14 coordinators and nine key speakers.
President Pavlopoulos pointed out the "long-lasting spark of the Olympic Spirit and the fundamental principles and values of the Olympic Movement," and asked the participants to take these values to their homelands, "as torchbearers of the Olympic light."
Pavlopoulos said that the annual summit aims to promote and spreading of the fundamental principles of the Olympic Spirit.
He added that it was in the area of the Pnyx Hill, in the 6th century BC, when the Athenian State implemented the principles of direct democracy, egalitarianism and equality in speech.
Olympic champion sprinter Valery Borzov, winner of the 1972 100m and 200m sprint events for the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games in Munich, was honoured during the event on Pnyx Hill and was bestowed with the Olympia plaque, while the distinction 'Athena' was given to the Olympic Academy of Taipei.