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25 Mar 2004
IOC News

Flame for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad lit in Olympia

In a traditional ceremony, the flame for the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad was lit today in Olympia, the cradle of Olympism. IOC President Jacques Rogge took the opportunity to congratulate the Organising Committee and the Hellenic NOC for staging the first global Olympic torch relay. "What better image of universality?" he contemplated in his speech in Olympia.

Across the five continents
The flame will cross the five continents, symbolised by the five rings, linking them together, breaking down political, religious, social and cultural barriers.

Message of peace
"More than ever, this Olympic torch relay will convey a message of peace and friendship among peoples, and, in doing so, respect the tradition of the Olympic Truce or ‘Ekecheiria’, like in the Games of Antiquity", Rogge added.

"The Flame unites us all"
"Whether we are male or female, young or old, able-bodied or disabled, high-level athletes or amateurs, employers or employees, famous or unknown, whether we live in a rich or a disadvantaged country, the flame will unite us all", the IOC President underlined.

Learn more on the Torch Relay - Official website of Athens 2004
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