BAKU Alexander Steen Shirt , June 12 (Xinhua) -- A spectacular and heart-warming opening ceremony marked the official start to the inaugural European Games in Baku on Friday evening.
Over 65,000 spectators gave an enthusiastic reception for the breath-taking show at the Baku Olympic Stadium.
Ahead of the opening ceremony in Azerbaijan on Friday, the flame for the inaugural European Games made its final journey through the capital, Baku.
Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey Brayden Schenn Shirt , Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan attended the opening ceremony along with official delegations of other countries.
Renowned Azerbaijani mugham singer Alim Gasimov opened the ceremony, which was directed by Dimitris Papaioannou, a renowned artist Scottie Upshall Shirt , choreographer, performer and visionary, who received the Golden Cross of the Order of Honor from the Greek President for his outstanding artistic achievement at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Alim Gasimov's performance was followed by dancers in colorful dresses depicting patterns of traditional Azerbaijani carpets.
The show continued with a colorful theatrical performance showcasing the scenes from the 12-century Azerbaijani poet Nizami's poetry.
The Azerbaijani paralympic blind athlete Ilham Zakiyev carried the torch.
During the Parade of Nations, each participating country, traditionally starting from Greece Joel Edmundson Shirt , marched out onto the floor in alphabetical order to carry their country's flag and introduce the athletes to the world accompanied by the music of great Azerbaijani composers.
The American music star Lady Gaga performed John Lennon's "Imagine" song.
The Olympic flag was then brought by prominent Olympic champions from all over the Europe and raised in the stadium.
The show continued with a laser show depicting a Greek myth of Europa and the bull.
Speeches were then given by the First Lady of Azerbaijan, President of the country's Gymnastics Federation Mehriban Aliyeva and EOC President Patrick Hickey, before Azeri President Ilham Aliyev declared the Games officially open.
The show then continued with a stunning theatrical performance which highlighted the nature of Baku, a city of winds and fire. The show was followed by grand fireworks.
Azerbaijani folk dance "yally" featuring thousands of performers brought the ceremony to a finale.
Viewers in Baku and across the world were able to enjoy the opening ceremony live on Baku2015 and YouTube at 9 pm Baku time.
An estimated 6,000 athletes Carl Gunnarsson Shirt , representing 50 European Olympic Committees, will be competing in Baku until June 28 with Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs in 20 different sporting disciplines including diving, wrestling, boxing Jaden Schwartz Shirt , cycling and gymnastics.
For some of the sports the European Games act as direct qualification for Rio next year, namely shooting and table tennis. For other disciplines - such as taekwondo and archery - the Games offer substantial qualification points on the road to Rio.
Baku was awarded the right to host of the first European Games at the 41st EOC General Assembly in Rome, on December 8, 2012. The European Games will take place every four years thereafter, with the next competition due to be held in 2019.
HOUSTON Vladimir Tarasenko Shirt , Aug. 27 -- Mandatory and voluntary evacuations are issued across the Houston metropolitan area in the southern U.S. state of Texas as historic Hurricane Harvey is expected to make a second landfall Tuesday.
Mandatory evacuation will go into effect for entire Bay City in the area at 13:00 local time (1800 GMT) on Monday, which expects up to 3 meters of water downtown.
Residents in low-lying coastal areas along or near the coast line are ordered to evacuate, including those in Rock Port, the area hit hard by the hurricane which made the first landfall Friday night.
People who live inland but are close to rivers received notice for voluntary evacuations, including those who live in the Greater Houston area.
Catastrophic flood waters inundated Houston on Sunday and forecasts expect more heavy rainfall in the coming days.
Earlier on Sunday Vladimir Sobotka Jersey , a body was found not far away from the coastal area in Southeast Texas, which increases the death toll to six after Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday night. However, local police said they are not sure if the death is directly related to Harvey.
Widespread and worsening flood conditions prompted the closure of nearly every major road in Houston as the outer bands of Harvey swept through the Houston area over the weekend.
After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries for help from citizens and corporations, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund which accepts tax deductible flood relief donations.
13th National Games of China open in Tianjin
Opening ceremony of 13th Chinese National Games held in Tianjin
Recovery efforts ongoing as Texas badly hit by Hurricane
Many couples choose to get married on Chinese Valentine's Day
China's Discovery ROV collects samples in western Pacific Ocean
World Robot Conference attracts visitors in Beijing
At least 2 died, 8 injured in knife attack in Turku Colton Parayko Jersey , Finland
13 killed, over 100 others injured in Barcelona attack: official
The Chinese national soccer team's loss to Thailand Saturday has triggered nationwide criticism. The Chinese national soccer team's loss to Thailand Saturday has triggered nationwide criticism.
The Chinese national soccer team's loss to Thailand Saturday has triggered nationwide criticism, with many Chinese furious at the humiliating performance of the team, which has received massive public funds and which many fans had high expectations of.
The team was thrashed 5:1 in a friendly match with. Jason Witten Jersey Jared Cook Jersey Authentic Jalen Ramsey Jersey Ezekiel Elliott Youth Jersey Drew Brees Youth Jersey David Johnson Youth Jersey Dallas Goedert Kids Jersey Bradley Chubb Broncos Jersey Amari Cooper Cowboys Jersey Alex Smith Redskins Jersey