- 16 Feb 2004
- IOC News
ATHENS 2004: Costas Gatsioudis first torch bearer
Greek javelin thrower Costas Gatsioudis will be the first to carry the Olympic torch, which will be lit on 25 March, for the Athens Olympic Games.
Lighting ceremony in Olympia on 25 March 2004
Gatsioudis, 31, who won a silver medal at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics, will take the torch at the lighting ceremony in Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, and begin its first 365km trek to Athens.
365 kilometres from Olympia to Athens
The torch will reach Athens for the first time on 31 March in the hands of sprinter Ekaterini Thanou, the silver medallist in the women's 100m at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and will be placed in the ancient Marble Stadium.
World tour starts in Sydney
On 3 June, the torch will be flown to Sydney. The following day, Olympic 400m champion Cathy Freeman will run the opening leg of the international relay. For the first time ever, the torch will visit all five continents represented by the Olympic rings, before returning to Greece on 9 July, for a tour of 600 towns and villages.
Torch enters Olympic Stadium on 13 August 2004
The torch will enter the Olympic Stadium in Athens for the Opening Ceremony on 13 August after passing through Marathon and Piraeus. It will be carried by more than 11,000 people on its 4,000km journey, including 6,500 people in Greece alone.
Official website of Athens 2004