Buenos Aires 2018 Torch Tour starts journey in La Plata

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The 2018 Youth Olympic Games flame torch will kick off its trip on Sunday in the city of La Plata, travelling 14,000 kilometres throughout Argentina.

According to a statement from the Games’ organisers on Friday, the torch will travel for two months.

It will pass through the hands of many relay runners in a human chain to symbolise the spirit of hope, solidarity and peace represented by the “sacred flame”.

Just as the tour will highlight Argentina’s geographical and cultural diversity, the relay runners also reflect their civil society.

Their lives go beyond sport and reflect the Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence.

Some are currently active or retired athletes, while others are outstanding community members.

There will also be representatives from indigenous populations and cultural and community groups.

The flame will travel through Argentina’s five geographical regions while making stops in 17 cities, while also visiting a variety of iconic touristic sites.

The relay in La Plata, in the province of Buenos Aires, will start at 14.00 hrs (local time) and cover one kilometre with a music festival at the end.

The Youth Olympic flame, which was lit in Athens on July 24, will be carried by 14 people in La Plata.

“Among them will be Federico Gil, Olympic shooting athlete at Rio 2016 and skeet champion at the ISSF World Cup in Cyprus 2017.

“Another relay runner will be Lucas Melia, an adapted table tennis gold medallist at the Parapan American Games Sao Paulo 2017.

“The relay will also have the participation of Laura Maiztegui, a gold medallist with Las Leonas at Sydney 2000, as well as Argentine athletics champion Agustín Carrera.

“There will also be María Lis García, gold medallist in Basque Pelota at the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011, and Juan Aude, a player on Argentina’s basketball team for the hearing impaired,’’ the statement indicated.

Justo Albarracín, an equestrian athlete with five Olympia awards and two Olympic appearances will participate in the relay, in addition to Ignacio Menday, a player on Argentina’s Los Pumas rugby team.

Ramón Tajes, from the Fundación Baccigalupo, will also take part in the relay, while the Community Leader of Buenos Aires 2018 programme will be represented by Agustina Boyezuk.Carlos Ferrea, the general director of the Argentine Olympic Committee (COA), will participate in the first relay.

His participation is on behalf of the members of the Olympic Family who have supported Buenos Aires 2018 since its candidacy.

Two staff members on the Buenos Aires 2018 Organising Committee and a city of Buenos Aires resident will complete the line-up for the first Torch Tour relay for the Games.

Buenos Aires 2018 which holds from Oct. 3 to Oct. 18 is the third summer edition of the Youth Olympic Games.