Opening ceremony of the GSSE 2019 celebrates Montenegro

The Games of the Small States of Europe "Montenegro 2019" have been officially opened in front of the walls of the Old Town in Budva.

President of the Montenegrin Olympic Committee Dusan Simonovic is proud that our country hosts such a competition.

"We have teamed up here, on a harmonious and exciting touch of the sea and mountains, to celebrate the Games of the Small States of Europe. This competition, which is the first of its size to us, reminds us of what we know about ourselves in the 21st century - the age of digital technologies and overall commercialization - about things that are easy to forget. Sport is, above all, a game. And a game is joy, emotion, a place of freedom. This game enhances and connects us. Uniting in diversity and colorfulness. By sacrificing the original and fundamental Olympic values, we will compete today, and, above all, be friends, be the world in smaller size. The world that is playing and having fun, "said Simonovic. 

During the two-hour programme directed by our famous director Nikola Vukcevic, in line with the motto of "How big we are", parts of Montenegrin history were depicted through a dozen sketches that illustrate the size of an individual - of a Montenegrin - in a great way.

With a specially designed stage and luminous effects, great music background, and verses from Njegos' poem Luca Mikrokozma, viewers had the opportunity to travel to the past and look back at the burning history of the ancient city of Budva, the printing of book Oktoih, and the melting of lead letters to make bullets which where necessary to defend from the Ottoman Empire.

We recalled - and our guests have met - the hero Marko Miljanov, the famous battle of Mojkovac, Princess Jelena, the smile of a hero Ljubo Cupic, the world's solidarity after the terrible earthquake in 1979, the night in May 2006 when we restored independence, the golden lioness from London Olympics 2012...

"As President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach said, it does not matter whether we come from a large or a small country. The only thing that matters is that we have a big heart in which the passion for sports burns. I invite you all tonight, in line with the motto of our Games - the first ones that are proudly hosted by Montenegro, to create new sports connections and memories, and show everyone exactly how big we are", said Simonovic.

"Let me thank you on behalf of the European Olympic Committee for the hospitality. I congratulate you on the exceptional presentation of Montenegro, its past and future. You have shown that a small nation can have a great heart", said EOC's President Janez Kocijancic.

The 18th edition of the "Small-sized Olympic Games" have been officially pened by the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dusko Markovic.

During the parade of the athletes, the flag of Montenegro was carried by our table tennis player Filip Radovic, while the famous handball player Bojana Popovic lit the flame with the Olympic torch.

Marija Vukovic our representative in high-jump, took an oath in front of all athletes participating in the Games.

At the Games of the Small States of Europe, 846 athletes from nine countries will compete in 10 sports over the course of five days.

Flag bearers

ANDORA Xavier Folguera (Beach Volleyball)

MALTA Gianluca Chetcuti (Shooting)

SAN MARINO Lorenzo Benvenuti (Volleyball)

ICELAND Bjarnadottir Gudbjorg Jona (Athletics)

MONTENEGRO Filip Radovic (Table Tennis)

LUXEMBOURG Kamil Rychlichi (Volleyball)

LIECHENSTEIN Manuel Gahr (Beach Volleyball)

CYPRUS Andreas Makris (Shooting - Trap)

MONACO Erik Lanza (Shooting)