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Thursday 13th June
Olympic Flame


The 2004 route was sent to us by our partners in Greece. It crosses the continents represented by the Olympic rings and visits every city that has hosted the Olympics.

"the Olympic flame is the primary symbol of the Olympic ideal, noble competition, friendship and peaceful coexistence" (Yias sou)

25 March 2004: Ancient Olympia, Greece. Yias sou The Olympic Flame was lit in the ruins of Ancient Olympia where the first Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. The first 2004 torchbearer was the javelin thrower, Kostas Gatsioudis.
4 June 2004: Sydney, Australia. G'day The Flame, carried in a special lantern, arrived at Sydney airport in a Boeing-747 called Zeus. The Flame was taken to the Sydney Opera House and the Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman was the first torchbearer to carry the Torch in Australia.
5 June 2004: Melbourne, Australia. G'day On Saturday 5 June the Olympic Torch Relay arrived in Melbourne, the host of the 1956 Olympics. The Torch was carried by over one hundred and thirty torchbearers including competitors from the 1956 Games.
6 June 2004: Tokyo, Japan. Konnichiwa On Sunday the Torch Relay set out from Japan's Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Despite heavy rain, many dancers and musicians celebrated the arrival of the Flame. Buddhist monks performed the Dance of Peace. The capital city was host to the 1964 Olympic Games.
7 June 2004: Seoul, South Korea. Annyong ha shimnikka The Flame arrived in Seoul, the capital of South Korea on Monday. Seoul was the host of the 1988 Olympic Games and co-host city for the 2002 Football World Cup. The torchbearers carried the Torch through the capital from the Gate of Peace in the Olympic Park
9 June 2004: Beijing, China. Ni hao On Tuesday 8 the Torch was carried by torchbearers along the Great Wall of China. On Wednesday the Torch Relay progressed to Tiananmen Square in Beijing; the Torch was also carried to the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.
10 June 2004: Delhi, India The Olympic Torch passed many of Delhi's historical landmarks such as Humayun's Tomb (on the World Heritage list). The tourism secretary said that the arrival of the Flame in India was an event of historic importance.
11 June 2004: Cairo, Egypt The Olympic Flame arrived in Egypt on Friday and passed through Cairo and then on to the Pyramids. Torchbearers included people from other African countries.
12 June 2004: Cape Town, South Africa. Molo The Mayor of Cape Town welcomed the Olympic Flame: "The arrival of the Flame means a lot to Cape Town - not only for the unity of people, but for small communities, too, something my city needs greatly." Nelson Mandela's lawyer was one of the torchbearers and Nelson Mandela raised the Olympic Torch outside the building where he was held for a number of years of his imprisonment.
13 June 2004: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ola The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro escorted the Flame from South Africa to Brazil. A percussion band led the Torch Relay from Rio's Maracana Stadium. Pele was the first torchbearer.
15 June 2004: Mexico City, Mexico. Mexico City, the highest city in North America and the capital of Mexico, hosted the Olympic Games in 1968. To welcome the Olympic Flame students took part in a display of many different sports in Mexico's Olympic Stadium.
16 June 2004: Los Angeles, USA. Hi Los Angeles was the first of four stops in the USA. LA was the dual host to the Olympic Games in 1932 and 1984. The city's Mayor said that forty-two percent of Los Angeles' inhabitants had been born in another country. He continued: "Harmonious coexistence in a way represents the Olympian ideals." Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone were torchbearers.
17 June 2004: St Louis, USA. Hi St. Louis was the Olympic Flame's second stop in the US. One hundred years ago St. Louis hosted the Olympic Games. The Torch Relay started from the great Gateway Arch, gateway to the West. The first torchbearer received the Olympic Torch from Nadia Comaneci, the Romanian gymnast who was the first gymnast to score a perfect ten.
18 June 2004: Atlanta, USA. Hi On Friday the Olympic Flame reached Atlanta, the host of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Summer Games. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta and in the 1960s the city was the focal point of the Civil Rights movement.
19 June 2004: New York, USA. Hi Saturday the Olympic Flame travelled through New York visiting Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Yankee Stadium, the Rockefeller Center, the UN building, Ground Zero and Times Square. In a speech the Athens 2004 President offered "an invitation to the World to embrace once more the Olympic ideals that unite all of us: our humanity, our aspiration for a perfect result - and most important of all, Peace".
20 June 2004: Montreal, Canada. Hi The next stop was Montreal, the host to the 1976 Olympic Summer Games. The Olympic Torch visited ethnic communities of the city, emphasizing the multicultural nature of Montreal.
21 June 2004: Antwerp, Belgium. The Olympic Flame arrived in Antwerp on Monday. Antwerp hosted the Olympic Games in 1920.
22 June 2004: Brussels, Belgium. HelloOn Tuesday the Olympic Flame reached Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the location of the headquarters of the EU and NATO. Viviane Reding, European Commissioner responsible for education and culture, spoke before the start of the Torch Relay saying "It is a great day for Europe. Sports and Culture are one ..." The Torch Relay passed the Grand Place, the EU Parliament and the Royal Castle.
23 June 2004: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Goede dag Amsterdam was host to the 1928 Olympic Games. The Olympic Torch passed the Van Gogh Museum, the house of Anne Frank and Dam Square before arriving at the Olympic Stadium.
24 June 2004: Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland. The Torch Relay visited Geneva and Lausanne on Lake Geneva. Geneva is the location of the International Red Cross and the World Health Organization. The International Olympic Committee meets in Lausanne.
25 June 2004: Paris, France. Paris was the host of the 1900 and 1924 Olympic Games. The Olympic Flame visited the headquarters of UNESCO. Extracts from a UN resolution approving the Olympic Truce were read and the Torch was passed to a girl from Israel who handed it to a Palestinian boy - a symbolic gesture of truce and peaceful co-existence.
26 June 2004: London, UK. Hello London hosted the 1908 and 1948 Olympic Games. Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to run the mile in under four minutes (1954), led the Relay in London. A rock concert headed by Rod Stewart took place in The Mall near Buckingham Palace.
27 June 2004: Madrid and Barcelona, Spain. Hola Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympic Games. The Olympic Flame passed the Atocha train station where many people died in the terrorist attack on 11 March 2004.
28 June 2004: Rome, Italy. Buongiorno Rome, the home of the Global Junior Challenge, was the host to the 1960 Olympic Games. The Torch Relay passed the Colosseum, the Forum, Trevi Fountain, the Piazza di Spagna and Vatican City.
29 June 2004: Munich, Germany. Munich hosted the Olympic Games in 1972. Sadly, terrorism was brought to the Olympic Games on 5 September 1972 when members of the Black September terrorist group killed eleven members of the Israeli Olympic Team.
30 June 2004: Berlin, Germany. Berlin hosted the Olympic Summer Games in 1936 when the black athlete Jesse Owens achieved a gold medal in front of Adolf Hitler. The Olympic Flame passed the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.
1 July 2004: Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm, the home of the Stockholm Challenge, was the host to the 1912 Olympic Games. The Torch Relay visited the Olympic Stadium, the Castle, Ekoparken, Djurgarden, Gamla Stan and Stockholm Town Hall.
2 July 2004: Helsinki, Finland. TerveHelsinki, the capital of Finland, was host to the 1952 Olympic Games. The Olympic Flame visited the Town Hall and the Olympic Stadium.
3 July 2004: Moscow, Russia. Zdravstvuite Moscow was host to the 1980 Olympic Games. The Torch Relay visited Red Square, the Kremlin, the Bolshoi Theatre, the University of Moscow and the Olympic Stadium.
5 July Kiev 2004: Ukraine. Vitayu Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is one of the oldest Slavic cities. Many athletes took part in the Olympic Flame ceremonies including Ukraine's most celebrated sportsman, Sergei Bubka.
6 July 2004: Istanbul, Turkey. Merhaba The Olympic Flame passed Turkey's famous monuments, Agia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. The Torch Relay progressed over the Bosphorus Bridge that unites Europe with Asia.
7 July 2004: Sofia, Bulgaria. H.R.H. Simeon Saxe-Coburg, the Bulgarian Prime Minister, welcomed the Flame to Bulgaria. (Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was the King of Bulgaria when the monarchy was abolished after the Second World War). The first Torchbearer was Georgi Ivanov, Bulgaria's first man in space.
8 July 2004: Nicosia, Cyprus.
Yias sou
"We welcome a mighty symbol of ageless values and ideals, which, by its journey, unites peoples and continents - the global heritage of creation. Let us light in Cyprus, too, an unquenchable flame of peace" (the Mayor of Nicosia)

The Relay returned to Greece where the Flame visited many parts of the country.

Olympic Games Athens, Greece. Opening Ceremony: Friday 13 August 2004

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