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24 February 2003, 11:07 am
Olympic Torch Relay Goes Global
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2004 Olympic Games

Last Friday, the IOC unanimously approved the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay route, a route that, for the first time ever, will bring the torch to Africa and South America, thus including every continent in its call to the 2004 Olympic Games.
Last Friday, the IOC unanimously approved the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay route, a route that, for the first time ever, will bring the torch to Africa and South America, thus including every continent in its call to the 2004 Olympic Games.

Lit by the sun's rays in the ancient Greek city of Olympia in May 2004, the torch will carry the Olympic flame to each of the five continents represented by the Olympic rings, celebrating the values of the 2004 Olympic Games: peace, participation, our shared Olympic heritage, and the human scale of the Athens Games.

The torch will travel the world for 35 days, visiting 27 cities before returning to Greece for the final segment of its route. On 13 August 2004, the torch's journey will culminate in the lighting of the cauldron in the Olympic Stadium of Athens, and the commencement of the XXVIII Olympiad.

The Olympic Torch Relay route will include every city that has ever hosted an Olympic Summer Games, and the Host City of the 2008 Summer Games, Beijing as well as Cairo, Cape Town, Rio De Janeiro, New York City, Lausanne and Nicosia. The criteria for the selection of the additional cities were their geographic location, adequate infrastructure, cultural and regional significance, the mobilization of participating National Olympic Committee and local authorities, and the approval of the International Olympic Committee. As the programme develops, a limited number of cities might be added, based on the same criteria. Details of the Greek section of the route are being finalized and will be announced soon.

ATHENS 2004 estimates that 10,000 torchbearers from around the world will cover the route: 3,500 during the international section and 6,500 within Greece. On average, each bearer will carry the torch 300-500 metres.
ATHOC Media/ISAF Secretariat
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