Friday, July 27, 2012

The Olympic Games: Greece's Legacy to the World

Later this evening, the Olympic Flame will light up London's Olympic Stadium, heralding the beginning of the Olympic Games, just one of Greece's significant and enduring legacies to the world. 

The Olympic Games, embodying centuries of culture, ideals and values bequeathed to us by our noble ancestors... embodying the values of the brotherhood of peoples, peace, friendship, and fair play - ideals and values which have survived wars, disasters, turmoil and tribulations, to be handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years...

The lighting of the Olympic Flame heralds the beginning of  the greatest celebration of sport and youth that takes place every four years on our planet... The Olympic Games

This flame, ignited by the rays of the sun by the high-priestess in Olympia, after invoking the God Apollo, was carried across Greece, from Castellorizo to Xanthi, to Crete, from village to  village and town to town, and handed over to the London 2012 Olympics Organisers in May.

The highly symbolic, and somehow appropriately rainy, handover took place at Athens’ Panathenian Stadium – the stadium built for the homecoming of the first modern-day Olympics in 1896. 

In Ancient Greece, the Olympic Flame commemorated the theft of fire from Zeus by Prometheus and was kept burning throughout the Olympic Games...

When the Games came home to Greece in 2004 there were many who doubted we would succeed - the British, Australian and American Press among the worst critics – but succeed, we did, and what’s more we did it brilliantly, with organisation and class, proving once and for all, the power we Greeks have when we are united, the power we have when we work together as one!   

As Greece’s Olympic flame lights up the skies of London tonight, and is kept burning throughout the Olympics, let its meaning of life, light, purity, freedom, peace and friendship spread around the world, uniting us all as people.

As Greeks, as Hellenes, let’s celebrate our unique heritage and the great things our ancestors gave the world! 

Let’s hold our heads up high, leave the pettiness to those who would be petty and stand proud of that heritage!

Citizens of London
Citizens of England
Citizens of the World…. 

As we watch the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony tonight,
 let's remember to pay tribute to Greece.

Enjoy the Olympics -  they are Greece's enduring legacy to the world!

The photos are from the Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony 
at Athens Panathenian Stadium

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