European Games open in Belarus
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Eds: With AP Photos.
The second edition of the European Games has opened in the Belarusian capital Minsk. Belarus' longtime President Alexander Lukashenko declared the games open, saying "today we will light a torch of peace."
MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The second edition of the European Games has opened in the Belarusian capital Minsk.
Belarus' longtime president, Alexander Lukashenko, declared the games open before a "flame of peace" was lit and fireworks were launched from the roof of the Dinamo stadium.
The ceremony had a strong historical flavor, including folk dancing and a tribute to the Belarus-born artist Marc Chagall. That was a contrast to the lavish and often abstract European Games opening in 2015 in Azerbaijan, which starred singer Lady Gaga.
The European Games have struggled to carve out their identity in a crowded sports schedule, as various sports jealously guard their own European championships.
The games run through June 30 and feature 3,667 athletes from 50 countries.