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10 Sep 2004
IOC News

Paralympic torch lit in Athens

The flame for the Paralympic Torch Relay was lit yesterday in Athens. Its route will take it throughout Attica, passing through 54 municipalities and covering a distance of 410km. 680 torchbearers will share its light and its values of strength, pursuit and noble competition. On 17 September, the Paralympic flame will illuminate the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium.

From the hearts of Athens
The journey began in the heart of Athens, in the Thisseion area. Tonight, the Paralympic Torch Relay will stop at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, one of the ancient monuments where cultural events still take place.

Historical sites and monuments
The ATHENS 2004 Paralympic Torch Relay will bring its light to historical areas and monuments as well as sites with a distinctly modern Greek character. It will be an amazing tour through places of unique natural beauty, highlighting the accomplishments of today’s Greece.

Revival in Seoul
The Torch Relay was revived at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games as the opening event of the celebrations. Ever since, the lighting of the Paralympic flame and the Paralympic Torch Relay, as we know them today, have become an institution. From then on, the flame was to be the signal for the starting of the Games, with which it was identified.

Olive leaf
The torch has the harmonious lines of an olive leaf. It weighs 700 grams and measures 68 centimetres. The olive leaf was the source of inspiration for the Paralympic torch that will convey the message of the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.

Official website of the International Paralympic Committee
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