Youth Olympic flame heats up the sea


The Torch Tour made its second stop. After starting the trip in La Plata, the caravan continued on to Mar del Plata, an emblematic city on Argentina’s Atlantic Coast.

Six Argentine surfers carried out a symbolic relay at the Playa Grande: Franco Radziunas, Martin Passeri, Maxi Prenski, Josefina Ané, Catalina Merceré and Marcelo Rodríguez.

The first to carry the Buenos Aires 2018 torch was Ané, an Argentine surf champion. She was in charge of passing the torch to Rodriguez, from the city of Trelew in Chubut province, who then climbed on his board and went out in the water with the sacred flame. He was followed by Passeri, a 43-year-old a surf protagonist at the World and Latin American surf championships.

The last leg of the symbolic relay was in the hands of Catalina Merceré, winner of the Argentine 2018 junior championship, who came out of the water to hand over the torch to Radziunas, the last torchbearer.

“It was a big honour for me to have carried the Olympic flame”, said Martin Passeri, one of the most experienced surfers in Argentina, who also highlighted how the discipline will makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

“That this symbolic relay has taken place at the beach where we train every day was really special”, added the five-time Argentine champion.

After warming up the Argentine Sea, the sacred flame continued on to the city’s famous coastal walkway.

Another symbolic relay was held at the Sea Lion Monument, an icon of the seaside city, with the presence of Belén Casetta, an Olympic athlete who participated in the 3000m steeplechase at Rio 2016, and Nahuel Schelling Quevedo, a young athlete who will compete in roller speed skating at Buenos Aires 2018.

“It’s a wonderful feeling that the flame has stopped in Mar del Plata. I hope that all the athletes who are going to participate in the Youth Olympic Games can enjoy the experience because it only happens once in a lifetime”, said Casetta, who participated in the first edition of the Games at Singapore 2010.

The Youth Olympic flame has lit up another Argentine city. It already stopped in La Plata. Now, Mar del Plata. Tomorrow it will arrive in Rosario.

Story by Sammy Heywood Okine

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