Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:17 +0300

XIII GSSE Journey Comes To An End

NICOSIA, 6 June 2009 - The flame burning throughout the XIII Games of the Small States of Europe has gone out.

But it shall remaining burning forever in the hearts of the thousands of people who with their performances, competitiveness and sportsmanship gave a little piece of their life to the XIII competition and for the small nations with big hearts and souls.

Cyprus handed over the Games Flag to Liechtenstein – the nation that will host the XIV GSSE which may also see a debut from Montenegro.

"We have enjoyed this journey, wishing in many ways that it would never end, but we have now reached the crossroad and a new journey will now begin which will lead to Liechtenstein in 2011," said, the President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee (COC) Ouranios Ioannides during his farewell speech at the ceremony.

"During the last six days, each and every one of us made his or her mark on the games and they are moments that will be forever carried throughout our own lives.

"But above all, we have all made a unified mark on these games. This mark is our own common foundation that we all built and lived on together and which we will now all carry together forever.

"We will forever hold the special bonds of friendship that we sealed in the last six days, the heartwarming applause that followed the efforts of the athletes, the successes of the athletes, the immense zeal and guidance of the voluntary workers, the way in which those - who made these games a success – poured in their heart and soul, the sponsors for their support and finally all of you who shared with us these last six days.

"With the handing over of the Games Flag to the President of the Liechtenstein Olympic Committee that will chair the next GSSE, I would like to wish them every success ahead of the long road leading to 2011. I would also like to assure them that I will be on hand to facilitate them should I be called upon and that we will all be in support as they journey down the road."

The entry of the athletes onto the pitch, whilst accompanied by the Municipal Philharmonic Orchestra of Larnaca, created the picture of a colourful mosaic.

The President of the COC then praised the teams for their participations in the games before biding them farewell. Eleni Artymata handed the Games Flag to Ouranios Ioannides who in turn relayed the flag to the President of the Liechtenstein Olympic Committee Leo Kranz ahead of the XIV GSSE.

Leo Kranz then thanked Cyprus for “the great games” and bid welcome to the eight nations that will begin their journey to his country. The flame at the national stadium in the Cypriot capital, was then extinguished.

Fireworks then lit the night sky of Nicosia over the GSP Stadium and the celebrations then took over with Greek singer Glykeria and her orchestra.

Sports are after all a celebratory event.


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