Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C) attends the flag ceremony for the Venezuelan delegation to the 2nd Youth Olympic Games to be held in China's Nanjing in Caracas, Aug 7, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]
CARACAS - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Thursday greeted the delegation of athletes to compete at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, from Aug 16-28.
At a ceremony at the presidential palace of Miraflores, in the capital Caracas, Maduro said the 59 members of the delegation were "icons" for all the nation's youth.
"I hope that the example you set is one of progress, social discipline, respect and teamwork," said Maduro.
Four years ago, at the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, 21 Venezuelan athletes competed in 10 events.
Delegation flag bearer Robeilys Peinado, who won silver in the pole vault at the youth world championship and gold at the Pan- American games, said "our delegation has the honor and beautiful opportunity to defend the flag, it's certainly a challenge we take on with great responsibility, love and total commitment."
During the ceremony, Maduro also presented the Order of Francisco de Miranda to the national basketball team, which won the 46th South American Basketball Championship in July, in the northeastern state of Nueva Esparta.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C) delivers the national flag to Robeilys Pinado, minor world runner and Pan American champion of pole vault, in the flag ceremony for the Venezuelan delegation to the 2nd Youth Olympic Games to be held in China's Nanjing in Caracas, Aug 7, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]