Kiev held solemn parting ceremony for Ukrainian Olympians, who will defend Ukraine at the summer Olympic Games in London. The guest of the ceremony included state officials, artists, TV presenters and famous sportsmen.

The ceremony was held in the Officers House, during which the Olympians demonstrated their uniforms for the Games.

"The country is eagerly looking forward the summer Olympic Games. We wish you to perform at your best so that our national hymn is played as often as possible. Remember that the whole country supports you," head of the state agency on youth and sport Ravil Safiullin said in his address.

President of the National Olympic Committee of Ukraine Serhiy Bubka also added his best wishes. "I want you to feel confident. Stay concentrated and cold-blooded during the last days before the Games and express your emotions only at the start," Bubka said.

The evening fire relay was postponed due to the rainy weather, and Ukrainian artists, including "Tanok na Maidani", "Captain Grant's children" and Mila Nitich entertained the audience during the waiting time.

Famous TV presenter Vasylysa Frolova encouraged the audience and sportsmen and said that rainy weather brings luck. "Let's hope that such London weather in Kyiv will bring luck to our Olympians."

When the heavy rain stopped, the Olympians brought the Olympic torch on the stage and handed it to the NOC president Bubka, who in his turn lit the Olympic fire in Kyiv.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov also congratulated the Olympians and read the congratulations and best wishes from the President Viktor Yanukovych. Then he handed the national blue and yellow flag to judoist Roman Gontiuk. This flag will be hung out in London at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

Tetyana Gryrogieva, photos by Viktor Kovalchuk


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