Leaving Athens tomorrow, the Olympic Torch will being it's journey, visiting the five continents symbolised by the Olympic Rings and Uniting thousands of people before returning to the Olympic Stadium in Athens for the Opening Ceremony on 13 August.
The 2004 Olympic Games mark the return of the Games to the country of their birth and to the city of their modern revival. To celebrate the Games' history, the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay, with the support of Coca-Cola and Samsung, will unite all five continents. People from around the world will have for the first time the opportunity to participate, experience and celebrate -to touch the light.
The Olympic flame begun its journey from Olympia and, 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.
Outside Greece the Flame will travel for 35 days, covering a distance of approximately 78.000 km, 1.500 of which in the hands of 3.600 Torchbearers. A total of 260 million people will have the opportunity to see the Flame in their city. 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. 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 Beijing, host city of the next Olympiad.
The Olympic Torch Relay is the Torch Relay of all cultures. The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay embraces all cultures and all five continents symbolized by the five Olympic rings; its light will remind the world of the Olympic ideals. It will spread the Olympic values of participation, brotherhood and peace. It will reaffirm the message that the Games are performed by people for people, a crowning moment for the human spirit, touching the heart and mind of everyone, regardless of language, race or colour.