5th winter games declare open at Gulmarg, 18 teams participating

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Gulmarg, Feb 18 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today declared open the 5th National Winter Games-2008 in which about 500 sportspersons, representing 18 teams from different parts of the country, will participate.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, besides a number of ministers, senior bureaucrats and a large number of people, including a good number of foreigners, were present on the occasion.

Earlier, sportspersons from host Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Chandigrah, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, ITBP, BSF, Navy, DMAS Manali, Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Army and MSI Ale took part in the march past.

Olympion Gul Mustafa lit the games flame.

The torch, which was flagged off by the IOA president Suresh Kalmadi at New Delhi on February 12 and handed over to veteran Jammu and Kashmir Olympian Gul Mustafa, reached here after travelling through Dehradun, Shimla, Jammu and Srinagar.

The formal competitions will be held from tomorrow morning.

Sky diving, Kashmiri songs and other colourful programmes marked the opening of the games.

Mr Azad and Mr Kalmadi released a white pigeon as a symbol of peace on the occasion.

UNI FMH RKM SSC1437

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