Pan Armenian Games Begin in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–More than 20,000 people gathered Saturday for the opening ceremonies of the second Pan-Armenian Games–which are dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Armenia’s independence and the 1700th anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as a state religion.

About 1700 athletes from 88 countries around the world are participating in the second Pan-Armenian Games in Yerevan. More than 5000 visitors from around the world have converged on Yerevan to spectate the games and take part in the events.

President Robert Kocharian–His Holiness Karekin II–Catholicos of All Armenia’s and other government officials attended the opening ceremonies.

The opening ceremonies featured a parade of athletes representing the teams–as well as a cultural program–featuring singers and dancers.

The torch of the games was brought into the stadium from the ancient city of Garni–where a celebran’s–adorned in traditional costumes–recreated the historical start of games.

Competitions began on Saturday and are expected to continue through Aug. 26. The competitions will take place in four different facilities throughout Yerevan proper.

More than 79 journalist have been given passes to cover the week-long games. They include representatives from the Armenian media in the Diaspora–as well as representatives of the international media.

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