Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova welcomed the participants in the World Junior Skating Championship. Children from the figure skating schools performed at a ceremony in Arena Armeec before the contestants would begin their five-day races. The Championship is part of the calendar of the Sofia – European Capital of Sport initiative.
“We can see a truly magical scene in the hall. It is an honour for us to welcome the world's finest young figurers for the fifth time in Sofia and for the first time in Bulgaria's largest hall, in the year when our city is the European Capital of Sport. Figure skating is not just a sport, it is also an art attracting millions of young people. Here, in Sofia, the ice rinks are full of children every winter and this speaks about the great popularity of this sport. I wish the future stars in figure skating every success,” Yordanka Fandakova said in her opening speech.
After her, Tatyana Yordanova, President of the Bulgarian Skating Federation, and Alexander Lakernik, representative of the International Skating Union (ISU) spoke warm words to those present in the hall.
The championship will continue until Sunday, 11 March. There will be 186 contestants from 45 countries – 17 sports couples, 29 dance duets, 45 girls and 49 boys – who will compete for the medals.