Darya Domracheva will help to launch the Minsk 2019 Torch Relay ©Minsk 2019s

Here in the Eternal City, two of the most successful Olympians from Belarus will join forces to launch the Minsk 2019 European Games Torch Relay on Friday.

Darya Domracheva, who won her fourth biathlon gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, is the most successful Winter Olympian since Belarus first competed in its own right in the mid-1990s.

She will be joined by 71-year-old fencer Alena Belova, who won four gold medals, a silver and bronze in foil while representing the Soviet Union. 

Hers was a glittering career which spanned four Olympic Games from 1968 to 1980. 

The quartet also includes Rio 2016 men’s trampoline champion Uldislau Hancharou and Athens 2004 women’s 100 metres gold medallist Yulia Nesterenko. 

Her home city of Brest will welcome the Flame to Belarusian soil in less than a fortnight.

The lighting ceremony is set to take place on Friday in central Rome at Ara Pacis, a monument dedicated to Pax, the Roman goddess of peace. 

It was built in 9 BC to honour Emperor Augustus and recalls an era of peace in the Roman Empire. 

It was also the setting for the lighting of a Flame for the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku and now seems likely to become a regular location for such events.

The European Games are intended to be a "celebration of hope, peace and the best of humanity".

Yulia Nesterenko won the Olympic 100 metres gold medal at Athens 2004 and is an ambassador for Minsk 2019 ©Getty Images
Yulia Nesterenko won the Olympic 100 metres gold medal at Athens 2004 and is an ambassador for Minsk 2019 ©Getty Images

Expect the lighting ceremony to be distinct from more familiar rituals held at Ancient Olympia for the Olympic Games and although organisers have promised "a simple moment", they still expect it to touch emotions.

The motif of a golden olive tree is expected to be prominent in the ceremony.

The Relay has been named "The Flame of Peace" and for these second European Games, runners will carry it on an international tour.

Throughout, it will be accompanied by a enthusiastic group of bikers from The One Chapter Belarus, who set out for Rome earlier this week to rendezvous with the Flame. 

Their cavalcade will fly the Belarus flag and the emblem of the Minsk 2019 Torch Relay.

On May 5, a team of climbers from Belarus Mountaineering Federation will begin an ascent which takes the Flame to the top of Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe.

Runners will also carry the Flame through Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria and Poland before it finally crosses the border into Belarus.

It will travel across the host nation before it arrives at the Opening Ceremony in Minsk on June 21.

In advance of the Ceremony, there will be a live-streamed press conference on the European Olympic Committee's YouTube channel starting at 6pm CET.

President Janez Kocijančič will be joined by Belarusian Minister of Sport and Tourism Sergey Kovalchuk and other dignitaries.

The link to watch the event can be found here.