Global Torch Relay

Pressemitteilung des Organisationskomitees ATHOC
Press Releases  ATHOC

The International Route of the ATHENS 2004 Torch Relay

Athens, 24 February 2003

The ATHENS 2004 Torch Relay, the first truly global Olympic Torch Relay, will travel around the world in 65 days. Last Friday, the programme was proposed by ATHENS 2004 to the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee who unanimously approved it.

The Relay will last 65 days and will travel along the following route: Sydney – Melbourne – Tokyo – Seoul – Beijing – Cape Town – Rio de Janeiro – Mexico City – Los Angeles – Saint Louis – Atlanta – New York – Montreal – London – Amsterdam – Antwerp – Paris – Barcelona – Rome – Lausanne – Munich – Berlin – Stockholm – Helsinki – Moscow – Nicosia - Greece.

At the presentation of the Torch Relay, ATHENS 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki made the following statements:
“It was in 1997, during our bid for the Games, that we promised a global torch relay to the whole world, and not just to the IOC. We promised to unite the Olympic Movement and to remind every country that has ever hosted the Olympic Games of the magic of the greatest celebration of the human race. We also wanted to share the emotions generated by the Olympic Torch Relay with all the continents symbolised by the five Olympic Rings. We have added some countries so as to be able to cover Africa and South America, where the Games have never been held and the torch has never travelled.

“As you will see for yourselves, the route so far comprises every city that has ever held an Olympic Summer Games. To these 21 cities, which include Athens, we have added Beijing, which will be hosting the next Summer Games; Cairo, to include North Africa and the Middle East; Cape Town, to cover South Africa; Rio de Janeiro, in the largest country in South America, one with a strong athletic tradition; New York, seat of the United Nations; Lausanne, seat of the International Olympic Committee; and Nicosia in Cyprus. We are also reviewing the possibility of sending the torch through India and Turkey”.

The President of the Organising Committee explained the details of the Torch Relay. It would last, she said, approximately 35 days, with a further 30 for the Greek leg of the relay up to the Opening Ceremony. On initial calculations, there would be more than 3,500 relay runners taking part on the international leg, and 6,500 on the Greek leg. The total cost of the Relay will be covered by the €20 million already budgeted for, plus revenue secured from sponsorship. The 2004 Olympic Torch Relay sponsorship programme today comes to $19 million.

Mrs Angelopoulos-Daskalaki added: “We have the option of adding three more cities without exceeding our budget. This will be done only in consultation with the Greek Government. Each of these cities must provide a secure environment and all the necessary infrastructure; must have the particular cultural features that will set it apart from others; and must have in it an active National Olympic Committee and Sports Federations. It should give us the chance to showcase Greek cultural heritage in combination with the presence of a Greek community, and of course, it must have the final approval of the International Olympic Committee”.

Mrs Angelopoulos-Daskalaki also pointed out that the uniform and torches for the Torch Relay would not have any commercial emblems, and that nobody would be able to buy his or her way into running in the relay.

As Executive Director Mr Marton Simitsek said, “The choice of the Torch Relay runners will be the responsibility of the National Olympic Committees of each country. Of course, there are certain criteria which are understood by everyone and acceptable at all torch relays. The most significant criterion is to choose people, individuals who can carry the torch between 300 and 500 metres, while another criterion is to find celebrities, personalities and people who have dedicated a part of their life to sports, and have also worked for society and for humanity”.

Every torch relay runner will be able to keep his or her torch as a personal souvenir, if they so desire, by paying an amount equivalent to the cost of the construction of the torch.

Mr George Bolos, the General Manager for Marketing, explained that the Olympic Torch will stay for one day in each town or city.

The 2004 Olympic Torch Relay programme is being supported by sponsors who share the same Olympic ideals and values as ATHENS 2004. The official sponsor of the programme is the Coca Cola company, and official supporters of the programme are three companies -- Samsung, Euro-Sport and Gefyra S.A.

Referring in particular to the official sponsor of the Torch Relay, Coca Cola, the President of ATHENS 2004 said:

“I would like to stress the fact that we are looking forward to much more from our official sponsor, beyond its very significant financial contribution. We are looking forward to its valuable experience, which results from its 75-year long support of the Olympic Movement. It should also be noted that it is the fourth time that Coca Cola has been the official sponsor of the Olympic Torch Relay”.

“Coca-Cola’s ability to connect with millions of people throughout the world will help increase public attendance at all of the Torch events along the way, and will enrich the very experience of the Olympic Torch Relay for all those who take part in it, both here in Greece and abroad. And finally we are looking forward to the entrepreneurial support of the sponsor, at a local level at every destination in its extensive network. With the help of the sponsor and our supporters, we will organise an excellent Torch Relay, one which will also promote the idea and messages of Olympism throughout the world”.

“To organise the Torch Relay, we are working closely with the National Olympic Committees, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Olympic Truce Foundation, and local and consular authorities”.


First-ever Global Torch Relay Route Approved by the IOC

Athens, 21 February 2003

The IOC Executive Board unanimously approved today the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay route. An Olympic Torch Relay 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’s unique International Torch Relay route was greeted enthusiastically by the IOC on the basis of its global outlook, and attention to history and culture. ATHENS 2004 will continue to work with the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Olympic Truce Foundation and local authorities to use available resources to maximize the impact of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay.

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.

The ATHENS 2004 Torch Relay is sponsored by a number of companies that share the Olympic spirit and ideals. The Coca-Cola Company has been selected as the Presenting Partner of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay. The company's 75-year heritage with the Olympic Games -- and ability to connect with people all over the world -- will help us enhance the experience of the Olympic Torch Relay ATHENS 2004 for everyone.

Samsung, Eurosport and GEFYRA SA are official supporters of the programme. The sponsoring programme of the ATHENS 2004 Torch Relay thus far amounts to $19 million.

ATHENS 2004 will work closely with the NOCs, the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Olympic Truce Foundation, local authorities and embassies around the world to promote the relay and the ideals it embodies. The warm Greek sun gave birth to the Olympic flame and to the messages it carries; for the first time ever, the Olympic torch will carry that flame and those messages to the entire world.


Die Vorgaben des ersten Planes aus dem Jahr 2003 erfuhren noch mehrere Änderungen und Präzisierungen. So sollten einem IOC-Wunsch entsprechend alle aktuellen Kandidatenstädte für die Spiele 2012  integriert werden, um eine Benachteiligung der Bewerber ohne bisherige Olympiaerfahrung zu verhindern. Nach der Abstimung in der IOC-Exekutive am 18.Mai 2004 verblieb  noch Madrid  als bis dato einzige nicht in den Lauf einbezogene Stadt. Auch erschienen weitere Städte in der abschließenden Fassung (u.a. Neu Delhi, Cairo). So wird vor der Entzündung des Feuers für die XXIIX. Olympischen Spiele am 13. August 2004 die Flamme beachtliche 78 000 Kilometer zurückgelegt und Station in 33 Städten gemacht haben.

«Wir schicken das Olympische Feuer in die weite Welt mit der Botschaft Griechenlands: Im Mittelpunkt steht der Mensch. Die Athleten werden die einmalige Gelegenheit haben, vor der authentischen Kulisse der Spiele zu kämpfen», so die Präsidentin des Athener Organisationskomitees, Gianna Angelopoulos Daskalaki, bei der Übergabe des Feuers an eine  Delegation Australiens auf dem neu errichteten Flughafen «Eleftherios Venizelos».

Der Staffellauf wurde mit Kosten von insgesamt etwa 30 Millionen Dollar veranschlagt. Finanziert wurde er hauptsächlich von zwei olympischen Großsponsoren, Coca Cola und Samsung.

Seit 22. Oktober 2010 - since Oct. 22nd, 2010: