The 3rd Mediterranean Beach Games began in Heraklion, Crete, with an ode to “Mother Earth” and paying respect to the people of Greece and Morocco for the devastating floods and the deadly earthquake respectively.
In his speech, the ICMG President Davide Tizzano, wished for Greece and Morocco to overcome the difficult situation and praised the efforts of the Organising Committee. He also asked to observe a moment of silence in memory of the victims from the two disasters.
“I welcome you to the country that gave birth to sport and the Olympic Games. I declare the opening of the 3rd Mediterranean Coastal Games “Heraklion 23” said the Greek Deputy Minister of Sports Yannis Vroutsis.
The President of the Organising Committee, Nikos Ntampakakis, thanked the State and all those who contributed to the great effort to prepare the games, stressed the bad situation that the country is going through due to the floods.
The Opening Ceremony started with the parade of the Flags and the athletes of the 26 countries – member of the International Committee of Mediterranean Games.
The organisers honoured the mother nature through symbolism based on the seven-sided labyrinth found on most Mediterranean coasts and known as the “Cretan Labyrinth”. The Cretan Labyrinth has an entrance and a path with no dead ends.
photos Angelos Zymaras
Stavros Litinas, the director of the artistic event, used this influential symbol to communicate to the audience concepts such as respect for Mother Earth, equality, and fraternity.
Mythological figures such as Queen Pasiphae, Ariadne, Minotaur, and Theseus were the central figures of the choreography that evolved based on elements from the mythical world of the Minoans.
Many distinguished guests from the Olympic and the Mediterranean Family attended the Opening Ceremony of the Mediterranean Beach Games “Heraklion 2023”. Α delegation from ANOC led by the Secretary General Gunilla Lindberg, the President of the European Olympic Committees and IOC member Spyros Capralos, the IOC Members Timothy Fok, Lingwei Li, Klaus Schormann, the ICMG General Secretary Iakovos Filippousis, the members of ICMG Executive Committee and people from all over the world came to Heraklion.