Marking `One Year to Go' before the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad get underway in Athens, the President of the IOC, Jacques Rogge, will invite a record number of countries to take part in the Games.
He will also personally signing the official invitations to the 201 National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
The signing ceremony will take place at the IOC's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Wednesday 13 August at 11 a.m., exactly 366 days before the Opening Ceremony for Athens 2004.
President Rogge will be joined at the IOC by the President of the Organising Committee for Athens 2004, Mrs Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. They will invite the nations from around the globe to come together to celebrate the world's most spectacular sporting occasion, the Olympic Games. The Games will see some 10,500 athletes competing in 28 different sports over 16 days. Athletes from the recently recognised NOCs of Timor Leste and Kiribati, who will be competing for the first time, will be invited, as well as athletes from Afghanistan, whose NOC's suspension, imposed during the Taliban regime, has now been lifted.
13 August 2004 will mark the day when the Olympic Games return to the country of their birth, more than 100 years after the first Games of the modern era were held in 1896 and many centuries since the Games of Ancient Greece. The deadline for the NOCs to accept the invitations and confirm attendance of their athletes is 13 December 2003.