Sri Lanka marks Olympic Day Walk | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka marks Olympic Day Walk

25 June, 2023
French ambassador Jean Pactet unveils the Olympic flag before the start of the walk
French ambassador Jean Pactet unveils the Olympic flag before the start of the walk

With the venue for the next Olympic Games 2024 being France, quite appropriately the ambassador in Colombo Jean Francois Pactet was the chief guest at the Olympic Day Walk held the Vihara Mahadevi Park on Friday (23).

This walk of one and half kilometres had nearly 500 students taking part in the colourful event.

The Olympic flame was carried from the beginning to the end by officials and at the end of the walk at the Open Air Theatre two leading sportspersons in Niluka Karunaratne and Nethmi Ahinsa Fernando carried the flame to the platform where the speeches were made.

Karunaratne participated in three Olympic Games while Nethmi Ahinsa won a bronze medal in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

The events began with the national anthem and the crowd stood for one minute in silence in memory of young fencer Shilpa Kavindi Perera of Visakha Vidyalaya who met with a tragic accident recently.

The opening speech was made by Maxwell de Silva the General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) who said that the best policy to adhere to was the talk less and work more towards making the country a better place.

“We had many options to find a place to celebrate the Olympic Day.

“Then one official said let’s do it in this Open Air Theatre and we have to thank the Municipal Commissioner for allowing us to use this place,” said de Silva.

There were dancers who performed and one of them was a look-alike of Michael Jackson as he danced to a song by Jackson and received a applause.