Hellenic Petroleum Business Group and its member EKO Serbia have been inspired, as partners of the Olympic Committee of Serbia, by the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan taking place next year, and are organizing an extraordinary contest titled “Experience Athens and ancient Olympia!”.
The aim of the game contest is to provide current and future consumers at EKO gas stations a unique opportunity to win an exclusive trip to Greece, with a visit to Athens and ancient Olympia, where they will attend one of the most beautiful sports and cultural events in the world – the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony in Olympia. Only about 150 people from around the world have the exclusive opportunity to attend the event, as the tickets cannot be purchased.
The opening of the Games begins with the lighting of the Olympic flame which symbolizes the mythological flame from Mt. Olympus. The ancient tradition of lighting the flame using sunlight and a concave mirror in honor of the supreme god Zeus has been preserved to this day when, as per ancient custom, in the palestra of the ancient temple of Zeus, women dressed in white togas conduct the ceremony of igniting the Olympic flame.
“We wanted to embrace the spirit of the upcoming Olympic year and convey it to the loyal users of our EKO Smile program. On this occasion, we have secured five trips to Olympia to attend the Olympic torch lighting, and the winners of this prestigious award will be able to choose one person to bring with them to visit Athens, the Greek capital,” said Mr. Vuk Radović, Managing Director of EKO Serbia and added an interesting bit of information about the first modern Olympic Games. They were attended by the Serbian King Aleksandar I Obrenović, as the only European ruler present, as well as Duke Živojin Mišić, who wrote in his memoirs about visiting Athens to attend one of the world’s biggest sporting events and about his multiple intonations of the hymn „Bože pravde“.
The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BCE, but the tradition of carrying the Olympic torch was revived at the Berlin Games in 1936, when it was reconstructed based on ancient drawings and the texts of Plutarch. Today, as it did then, every Olympic torch relay ceremony seeks to surpass the previous one, spark admiration and stimulate the imagination. The Olympic flame also visited the North Pole and the summit of Mount Everest, and before the Sochi Winter Games, the Olympic torch flew into space and plunged to the bottom of Lake Baikal.
Thanks to the Olympic Committee of Serbia, a mini exhibition was organized to showcase a collection of 10 original torches from previous winter and summer games.
“The trip to ancient Olympia, where it all began, and attendance of the Olympic Flame Lighting Ceremony is a truly unique experience, and the fact that there are only 150 people in the pre-Olympic year who can enjoy it makes this prize truly priceless. I believe that the Olympic Committee of Serbia and the EKO Company will continue to implement similar projects in the future, that together we will promote Olympic values and that our partnership will be strengthened further to our mutual satisfaction!”, said Mr. Božidar Maljković, President of the Olympic Committee of Serbia.
Olympic torches remain as a symbol of the Games that were held, the sporting successes achieved, and the road they have traveled in glory of the largest international sports competition. In this manner, the Olympic flames traveled over more than 78,000 kilometers, with 11,300 carriers of the flame.