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11th European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) started with a beautiful opening ceremony in Trabzon, Turkey on July 24. Olympic games start on July 25 and they take 5 days to complete. This will be the first olympic organization of Turkey.
For the 11th European Youth Olympic Festival, about 4000 people, who are athletes, technical teams and managers, came from 49 countries. In the Olympics there are 9 branches. They are basketball, volleyball, tennis, judo, swim, bike, gymnastics, athleticism and handball.
Opening ceremony started with an announcer’s “welcome speech” at 20.00 (Turkish Time) then countries came to the stadium and took their seats in alphabetical order. First country was Greece because the first Olympics were played in Greece. Last country was host Turkey and Turkey has a maximum participation with 140 athletes. Cultural section started after countries. In this section Turkey’s traditional dances called ‘Horon’ and other dances were played by some group of dancers and Eyof-2011’s volunteers.
Firstly Sport Minister of Turkey, Suat Kılıç; after that President of Unity of European Olympics Committee Patrick Hickey; lastly Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan talked in the opening ceremony. Patrick Hickey spoke about Norway’s terrorist attack and one minute of silence was held for dead people. When Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started to say his speech, he wanted this one minute of silence for the 20 people who died due to terrorist attacks.
After Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech 11th European Youth Olympic Festival was officially started. Four athletes carried Olympics torch and Olympic flame burned and Olympic flag was hung.
Finally, Turkish singer Mustafa Sandal gave a concert and opening ceremony finished with this concert. Opening ceremony took about three hours.