Organizers drop teaser “interesting surprises” for 2023 Pan-Armenian Games flame- lighting ceremony
YEREVAN, MAY 18, ARMENPRESS. Over 5000 participants from around the world are expected to gather in Armenia in August for the 8th Pan-Armenian Games.
Pan-Armenian Games World Committee President Ishkhan Zakaryan has said that “huge” organization work has already been done.
“This idea is of greater importance during such difficult times, Pan-Armenianness is important in such times,” Zakaryan told ARMENPRESS when asked on the appropriateness of holding the event in the challenging times. He said the idea of the games is unity and pan-Armenianness.
“We must not be afraid and assume responsibility in difficult times to do something good, something difficult and important,” he added, noting that the event is aimed at Armenian unity. “This is going to be a big celebration with deep layers.”
Asked on specificities and how the 8th Pan-Armenian Games will differ from the previous ones, Zakaryan said: “Of course there are differences. It will differ with the global situation, the regional situation, the blockade of Artsakh and other difficulties. Certainly, we could’ve done nothing. But we unanimously agreed that understanding all these difficulties, we must organize the 8th Pan-Armenian Games. This opinion was endorsed by the World Committee of the Pan-Armenian Games, the Armenian government launched a steering committee and the work began.”
He said that the upcoming event will feature an expanded geography.
“For example, we have fine communities in Central Asia who were not involved in the past. I visited central Asian countries, I met and negotiated with the local Armenians, we agreed to work together. I visited Moscow, where I had important meetings with the Russian minister of sports and the head of the department of sports of the Moscow government. I visited Minsk, I met with the Belarusian minister of sport, and I had detailed discussions with our ambassador. I visited Paris, Hamburg, Istanbul, Tehran. I am planning to visit Georgia and Arab countries soon. We will advance the work. I expect that Armenian communities from three or four countries that didn’t participate in the past will participate this time. While the total number of participants is expected to be over 5000.”
Zakaryan reiterated that the basis of the idea of holding Pan-Armenian Games, which was developed 25 years ago, was pan-Armenianness, strengthening of the Armenian world. The purpose of the games is to bring together Armenians from around the world, to preserve Armenian identity through a sports celebration.
The previous Pan-Armenian Games were held in Artsakh, which is currently blockaded.
Asked whether or not teams from Artsakh will be able to participate this year, Zakaryan said they are working on it. “We are thinking and working in this direction, let’s not get ahead. I can say one thing for sure, Artsakh will always be the core of pan-Armenianness, including the Pan-Armenian Games,” Zakaryan said.
The torch of the last Pan-Armenian Games was lit in historical Cilicia, on Musa Ler, in 2015 – the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, it was lit in Van, on Akhtamar island.
The Pan-Armenian Games World Committee President refused to reveal where the flame will be lit this year.
“I am getting asked this question a lot. I have one answer, wait for interesting surprises, or make haste slowly,” he said.