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12 Jul 2004
IOC News

The Olympic flame returns to Greece

The Olympic flame returned to Greece on 9 July, after an international journey on all five continents, through 26 countries and 34 cities. It will now continue its travels in Greece, to arrive at the Athens Olympic Stadium on the evening of 13 August.

Olympic Flame in Crete
The Flame's procession will be covering 134 kilometres, with 174 torchbearers today. Today's first ceremony was held at 9.45 a.m. at Spili, right by Agia Galini, where the Flame remained overnight. Mayor Yiannis Tatarakis welcomed the Flame. He said: "Our land is small, but its tradition is enormous". Fifteen Torchbearers ran with the Flame at Spili and student Emanuella Sapountzi lit the Altar.

On 13 July 2004, the Olympic Flame will travel to the Prefecture of Dodekanisa

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.

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 define concrete concepts such as participation, fraternity and peace.

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Torch Relay and Humanitarian Issues
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