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Special Olympics to light Flame of Hope in Athens on February 17, 2001

The Special Olympics Flame of Hope Torch Lighting Ceremony will take place in Athens, Greece, on February 17, 2001 in the countdown to…

The Special Olympics Flame of Hope Torch Lighting Ceremony will take place in Athens, Greece, on February 17, 2001 in the countdown to the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games. Following the ceremony in Greece, the torch will begin its journey of over 5,500 miles before it is used to ignite the cauldron that will burn throughout the upcoming 2001 World Games.



The Special Olympics Torch Lighting Ceremony is being organized by Special Olympics Hellas and hosted by Andreas Potamianos, President of Special Olympics Hellas and Joanna Despotopoulou, President of the Hellenic Federation Special Olympics. Honored by the President of the Hellenic Republic Constandinos Stephanopoulos, individuals from around the world will take part in this celebration of Special Olympics. Also in attendance will be Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou, Minister of Sports George Floridis, and the Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos.



The torch`s transport from Greece to the site of the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games is part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run(R) for Special Olympics.



More than 2,750 athletes and coaches from more than 80 counties will travel to Anchorage, Alaska to participate in the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games from March 4-11. The Flame of Hope will be lit in the Atrium of the Zappeion Olympic Palace. The Palace, which was built in 1894, served as the Olympic Village for the first Modern Day Olympic Games that took place in Athens in 1896. The cauldron for the Torch Lighting Ceremony has been brought especially for Special Olympics from Ancient Olympia courtesy of the Hellenic Olympic Committee.



The journey of the Flame of Hope will then begin by a torch relay of Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement officers to the United States Embassy in Athens. The flame will then travel by air to Anchorage, Alaska via the North Pole.



Special Olympics athletes will compete in seven different winter sports; cross country skiing, Alpine skiing, speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoe racing and snowboarding. Similar in size to the last Olympics held in Nagano, Japan, the 2001 World Games will be the largest sporting event ever held in the history of Alaska.



In attendance will be a Congressional Delegation from the United State headed by Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska along with Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, Sen. John Warner of Virginia, Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana, Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado and Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.



Also in attendance will be: Special Olympics athletes from around the world, Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, CEO and President of Special Olympics; Mrs. Patti McGuire, Chairman of the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games; Mr. Ben Stevens, President and CEO of the 2001 Special Olympics World Winter Games; Princess Nora of Lichtenstein, and Dr. Walther Troeger, President of the German National Olympic Committee and member of the International Olympic Committee.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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