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22 Jun 2004
IOC News

Relay’s "Pass the Flame, Unite the World” Theme is Symbolically Brought to the EU

Brussels, Belgium is the seventeenth international stop on the global journey of the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay. After a visit to Antwerp on 21 June, the Olympic Torch Relay is in Brussels, home of the European Union, to symbolically bring the Olympic ideals of peace and brotherhood.

Sights along route: EU Parliament, Royal Castle, Grand Place.

Included among the total of 12 torchbearers in Brussels is Paralympian Remi Van Ophem, who has shown great courage and strength despite his physical disability. Also running with the torch will be Olympians Brigitte Becue, Harry Van Barneveld, Roger Vanmeerbeek and Ingrid Berghmans. Each torchbearer will carry the Olympic flame for approximately 550 metres along the Brussels route. Torchbearers represent the best in humanity, their families, friends, community and country.

Across the globe
The Olympic flame began its journey from Olympia and, after having travelled across the globe, will return to the Athens Olympic Stadium on 13 August, where it will signal the beginning of the great celebration of the 2004 Olympic Games.

78 days, 78,000 km, 3,600 torchbearers
The total journey will last some 78 days. Outside Greece the flame will travel for 35 days, covering a distance of approximately 78,000 km, 1,500 of which will be in the hands of 3,600 torchbearers. A total of 260 million people will have the opportunity to see the flame in their city.

First time in Africa and Latin America
For the first time in history the Olympic Torch Relay will bring the flame to Africa and Latin America. The flame will reach all past Olympic cities, bringing them once again the light and joy of the Olympic celebration.

Stop at the IOC and the Olympic Museum in Lausanne
It will also pass through cities with special symbolic meaning, such as Brussels, heart of the European Union, Lausanne, seat of the International Olympic Committee and Olympic Museum, and Beijing, host city of the next Games of the Olympiad.

Relay of all cultures
The Greek Olympic Torch Relay is the Relay of all cultures. The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay embraces all cultures and all five continents symbolised by the five Olympic rings; its light will remind the world of the Olympic ideals, and make concrete concepts such as participation, fraternity and peace.

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