The Slovenian Olympic torch set out on its 81-day journey around Slovenia in Bovec on Monday to visit all 212 municipalities until 23 July, after it was taken to Triglav, the country’s highest mountain, at the weekend. Over 5,000 runners will carry the symbol of the Olympic Games in the run-up to the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
The torch was brought to Bovec by athletes from Bovec area – footballer Primož Zorc, kayaker Igor Mlekuž and climber Tine Cuder, while ex-Alpine skier Miran Gašperšič had the honour of lighting it.
Mayor Valter Mlekuž said that it was a special honour for Bovec to see the Olympic torch begin its journey here.
Ex-runner Meta Mačus, head of the regional Olympic office in Nova Gorica, believes the torch will fill people with positive emotions and the Olympic spirit, as it connects the entire country.
The torch was then taken by up-and-coming athletes from Bovec area footballer Zala Kuštrin, freestyle skier Matej Bradaškja and runner Tobi Gabršček passing it on to three riders, who took it to the town of Kobarid.
Children from the Bovec primary school also took part in the launch ceremony, carrying banners with motivational slogans for Slovenian athletes, while year-eight gymnasts presented their skills.
The torch’s journey is organised by the Slovenian Olympic Committee in collaboration with the police.
The torch is made of recycled steel and Slovenian beechwood, and will finish its journey in Ravne na Koroškem, where it was forged.