Thousands of young climbers continue the Olympic spirit
Young climbers from around the world are planning to light a torch on top of Mount Olympus on August 24 to keep Olympic values alive as the flame in Beijing is extinguished.
The UIAA Youth Commission is now calling on member federations to organise their own climbs on August 24. The events will celebrate "Ekecheiria", the ancient Greeks' name for the peaceful period which reigned during the Olympic Games. Many federations might already have groups climbing on mountains on this date, and the commission invites them to join youth in other countries and light torches as part of the Global Youth Summit. Proposals for events can be sent to coordinators Zdenka Mihelic (Zdenka.mihelic @ siol.net) or Anne Arran ( anne @ thefreeclimber.com)
The event on Mount Olympus, Greece is organised by the Hellenic Mountaineering and Climbing Federation and the Italian Alpine Club (CAI). They have participants from South Korea, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ukraine and FYR Macedonia taking part so far.
Other events are planned in Italy, where 205 young alpinist groups from CAI will be lighting torches on 205 Italian peaks – to symbolise each of the National Olympic Committees spread over five continents. In FYR Macedonia 15 tops of more than 2,500m will be climbed.
"I am very happy to see so many young climbers and mountaineers being inspired by the Olympic Games and its spirit of peace and co-operation and in their own way going faster, higher and stronger," Commission President Anne Arran says. "We will be listening carefully to the young climbers' messages from the tops."
There are still a few more free places at the Olympus event for climbers aged 16-20. More information is to be found in the youth calendar or by contacting the organiser, Giampaolo Covelli (giampaolo.covelli @ tin.it )
by Repoulias Aris