The Barcelona World Race training IMOCA yacht brings the Special Olympic flame to Barcelona
The 2014 Barcelona-Calella Special Olympic flame has reached the Catalan capital aboard the Barcelona World Race training yacht. The Olympic flame was welcomed by the Secretary General for Sport of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Ivan Tibau, the President of the Diputació de Barcelona, Salvador Esteve, and the Manager of the Port 2000 urban management company for the Port of Barcelona, Adolf Romagosa, among other figures, at the city's Portal de la Pau, overlooked by the famous statue of Christopher Columbus.
Spanish Olympic swimmer Ona Carbonell was in charge of bringing the flame aboard the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona's IMOCA 60, boarding the yacht at the Barcelona World Race Interpretation Centre alongside a number of special athletes.
Upon arrival at the Portal de la Pau, they lit the torch, which then made a circuit of the city to the Plaza Sant Jaume, where it was received by Fourth Deputy Mayor for Sport, Maite Fandos; Barcelona Councillor for Social Wellbeing and Family, Neus Munté; the Special Olympics of Catalonia President Jordi Durà and the President of ACELL (the Catalan sports federeation for people with mental disabilities), Francesc Martínez de Foix.
Following a solemn ceremony to light the Olympic torch the starting gun was fired for the 2014 Barcelona – Calella Special Olympic Games, with regattas, basketball and tennis matches all set to take place in the Spanish city. The sailing competitions will be held at the Barcelona municipal sailing centre.