Today, the European Weightlifting Championship was officially launched with an opening ceremony at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert Complex.
RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, RA President Vahagn Khachaturian, RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Zhanna Andreasyan, Deputy Minister Karen Giloyan, Presidents of the International and European Weightlifting Federations, other officials, numerous representatives and fans of the sports world attended the event.
During the sound and light show, first, the centuries-old history of Armenia was introduced, the rich cultural heritage of our country was touched upon and then legendary athletes who held Armenia's honor high in various sports were presented. Then, in a special parade of flags was held, and the flags of the 40 countries participating in the European Championship were brought into the arena.
In his welcoming speech, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan thanked the European Federation for trusting Armenia with the right to host this championship: “In fact, the Republic of Armenia has been waiting for this championship for about 40 years, because in the 80s this magnificent sports and concert complex was built with the expectation that it would soon host European and world-class tournaments. But, unfortunately, it took so long until the European Championships were hosted in Armenia.
This is a very symbolic moment because this championship is held under the patronage and flag of the sovereign, independent Republic of Armenia. And this is an extremely important event. The European Weightlifting Championship symbolizes that our country, our state, our people are ready to carry the burdens imposed on us by fate and history.”
Chief of Staff of the RA Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan and President of the European Weightlifting Federation Antonio Conflitti also delivered welcoming speeches.
“We are happy to be in Yerevan for the first major weightlifting tournament in the history of Armenia. I would ask Armenian weightlifters to allow others to win medals as well. I hope this event will be successful for the athletes because we have already seen a successful opening ceremony,” Antonio Conflitti said, stressing that Armenia is also one of the contenders to host the 2024 World Cup.
Note that, 380 athletes from 40 European countries will participate in the 101st European Weightlifting Championship. 20 sets of medals will be awarded in 10 weight categories for men and women. The competitions will be held from 15-23 April.