28 Jun 2011, Kathmandu, Nepal: The Nepal Olympic Committee conducted a highly successful week-long Olympic Day Peace Rally from June 17-23 in Bhairahawa, Butawal, Lumbini and Kathmandu.
On the morning of Olympic Day itself, June 23, chief guest NOC President Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan and special guest Bhikchu Maitri - President of International Buddhist Society Lumbini and President of Ananda Kuti Buddha Bihar, Swambhunath, Kathmandu - inaugurated the event.
Between 6,000 and 7,000 enthusiastic participants – including monks from around the country, school students, athletes, representatives of various organisations, media and a large number of locals - participated in the Olympic Day peace walk and the week-long programme.
The programme began with the IOC anthem, flag-raising and the release of doves symbolizing peace. A message from IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge was delivered by Ms Jyoti Rana, Executive Member of NOC Nepal.
NOC Vice President Dhirendra Pradhan delivered a keynote speech on Olympic Day, and the Director of the Olympic Day Committee, Mr. Sunil Rajkarnikar, welcomed all the participants.
During the inauguration ceremony, the NOC President spoke of the values of Olympic Day, describing it is a highlight of Olympism and of the NOC activities. He thanked all corporate sponsors for their invaluable assistance to the NOC in staging such a successful Olympic Day.
The ceremonial part of the opening commenced with handover the Olympic Torch by NOC President Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan. The peace walk started from PEACE flame and ended at the Lumbini birthplace of Lord Buddha, covering a distance of 2km.
To build a peaceful and better world, participants were happy to walk hand in hand with each other to contribute to the true Olympic spirit of friendship and solidarity. (Article kindly submitted by Sunil Rajkarnikar, Executive Member, NOC Nepal, Director - Olympic Day Committee)