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Date
26 Nov 2003
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IOC News

ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay


The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay will travel around the world for 35 days visiting 34 cities (including Ancient Olympia) in 27 countries (including Greece), the Athens 2004 Organising Committee (ATHOC) announced today. The Torch Relay route will have to be approved by the IOC Executive Board at the beginning of December in Lausanne.




Several "firsts"




The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay has several "firsts" including:






· The first global Olympic Torch Relay
· The first time the Olympic flame will visit Africa
· The first time the Olympic flame will visit South America
· The first time the Olympic flame will visit all land masses represented by the Olympic rings (Oceania, Asia, Africa, America and Europe)
· The first time the Olympic flame will visit all former host cities of the Summer Olympic Games.



Ignited by sun's rays
The Olympic flame is ignited by the sun's rays in Ancient Olympia, Greece, and is kept in a lantern that travels with the relay. A torch is lit from the flame every morning to start that day’s relay. The Olympic flame is passed from torch to torch. The lantern is closely guarded to ensure that the flame is never extinguished.




3,600 torchbearers
The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch will be carried by more than 3,600 torchbearers over more than 1,500 kilometres. Each torchbearer will carry the flame approximately 400 metres. The torch will travel more than 78,000 kilometres by air.




"Imaginative plan"
At the announcement ceremony in Athens, IOC President Jacques Rogge thanked ATHOC President Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and her team for this imaginative plan. For Rogge the torch is one of the most potent ancient and modern Olympic symbols. "It will carry a unique message of peace, in the same spirit as the recent adoption of the Olympic Truce by the 58th General Assembly of the United Nations," he said.




Samsung and Coca-Cola
The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay is being made possible through the generous support of Presenting Partners, The Coca-Cola Company and Samsung.









Read the Samsung press release




Official website of Samsung










The Coca-Cola Company website











Learn more on Athens 2004




Official website of Athens 2004
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