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16 February 2004, 10:24 am
Costas GATSIOUDIS (GRE) First Torch Bearer
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2004 Olympic Games
Athens

Greek javelin thrower Costas GATSIOUDIS will be the first to carry the Olympic torch, which will be lit on 25 March, for the Athens Olympic Games.
Gatsioudis, 31, who won a silver medal at the 1999 World Championships in Athletics, will take the torch at the lighting ceremony in Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, and begin its first 365km trek to Athens.

The torch will reach Athens for the first time on 31 March in the hands of sprinter Ekaterini THANOU (GRE), the silver medallist in the women's 100m at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and will be placed in the ancient Marble Stadium.

On 3 June, the torch will be flown to Sydney. The following day, Olympic 400m champion Cathy FREEMAN (AUS) will run the opening leg of the international relay. For the first time ever, the torch will visit all five continents represented by the Olympic rings, before returning to Greece on 9 July, for a tour of 600 towns and villages.

The torch will enter the Olympic Stadium in Athens for the Opening Ceremony on 13 August after passing through Marathon and Piraeus. It will be carried by more than 11,000 people on its 4,000km journey, including 6,500 people in Greece alone.


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