On 6 August, the grand opening of the 7th Pan-Armenian Summer Games was held in the Stepan Shahumyan Republican Stadium in Stepanakert, Artsakh.
The opening of the 7th Pan-Armenian Summer Games held in Stepanakert (Photos)
STEPANAKERT, AUGUST 7, ARTSAKHPRESS: The opening ceremony started with performing the brightest pages of Armenian history - from paganism to Christianity, from Hayk Nahapet to Tigran the Great, from the Artsakh Liberation Struggle to the April War.
Then the march of athletes kicked off, comprising more than 5244 athletes from 161 cities of 35 countries.
Accompanied by the NKR Defense Army Honor Guard, the flags of Artsakh and Armenia were brought to the stadium.
Olympic champion Israel Militosyan, sambo fighter Arevik Karapetyan, weightlifter Tigran Martirosyan, chess player Gabriel Sargsyan, wrestler Aram Margaryan and sambo fighter Mavrik Nasibyan brought the flag of the Pan-Armenian Games to the stadium.
The torch of the 7th Pan-Armenian Summer Games in Stepanakert was lit by Primate of the Artsakh Diocese, His Holiness Pargev, Olympic sports shooting champion Hrachya Petikyan and Vice-Chairman of the World Committee of the Pan-Armenian Games, Armenian American benefactor and one of the founders of the Games Albert Boyajian.
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan declared the 7th Pan-Armenian Summer Games in Stepanakert officially opened.
In his speech Nikol Pashinyan noted that today is a celebration in our homeland, because thousands of children of our nation from Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South Americas have gathered in the citadel of Armenian dignity – Artsakh, and we are enjoying the joy of being united, being together.
“We have gathered in Artsakh to enjoy and feel the power of unity, to understand that we are undefeatable when we stand together. We’ve gathered to record that we have a history, that we have identity, that we have statehood and will to continue the millennium-old triumphant march of our nation for new millennia. Today, thousands of representatives of the 7th Pan-Armenian Games will foster, empower and develop our nation’s will and skills of winning. I wish victory in fair competition to all participants of the Pan-Armenian Games. Therefore, I declare the 7th Pan-Armenian Games opened,” the Armenian PM said.
Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan delivered a welcoming speech at the solemn opening ceremony of the 7th Pan-Armenian Summer Games.
The decision to make Artsakh a hosting country of the Seventh Pan-Armenian Games was made after the 2016 Four-Day April War, President Bako Sahakyan said, highlighting the symbolic significance of the move.
In a speech at the opening of the nationwide sporting event, Sahakyan also described the day as a remarkable moment in terms unifying compatriots in the ancestral homeland.
“Stepanakert hosts numerous athletes and coaches, fans and just people who love sports from Mother Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora. We do not have guests here; everybody is at home, in their ancestral hearth. Welcome to Artsakh!
The Armenian people have an emphasized attitude towards sports. In ancient times, nationwide games were held in Armenia, and Armenian athletes participated in various sports tournaments, including the Antique Olympic Games, as the preserved records report.
By their nature the Pan-Armenian games are an important link connecting our sporting past, present and future,” Head of State noted.