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PR- 018-04
January 23, 2004


Olympic Torch to Come to New York City on June 19th

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that the official torchbearer nomination forms for the Athens 2004 Olympic Global Torch Relay, which will come to New York City on June 19th, are now available by calling 311 or online at  The Mayor made the announcement on his weekly radio show "Live from City Hall with John Gambling," which airs on WABC.  Joining the Mayor for the announcement was Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell, who ran in the last torch relay held in New York City in December 2001.

The Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee announced the first-ever global journey of the Olympic Torch in November of 2003.  The relay will span 34 cities and 26 countries over 35 days.  Four U.S. cities, Los Angeles, California, St. Louis, Missouri, Atlanta, Georgia, and New York City, will have the honor of hosting the journey of the Olympic flame.  New York City will celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch with an approximate 35 mile run through the streets of the City, followed by a public celebration honoring the Olympic Spirit and the Athens 2004 Games.

"On behalf of all New Yorkers, we are honored that the Athens Organizing Committee has selected New York to participate in the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay," said Mayor Bloomberg. "As a participant in this great international event, New York will join 33 cities in a worldwide tour that will return the Olympic Torch to its ancestral home in Greece.  When the Olympic Torch arrives in New York, we will join the world in honoring the spirit and the unifying principles of the Olympic Games, and the Torch Relay presents us with a unique opportunity to highlight the shared passion, energy and excitement New Yorkers feel for the Olympic Games."

"We are seeking nominations for people who have inspired their fellow New Yorkers and made meaningful contributions to their community.  I am confident that we will be able to bring together a spectacular roster of torchbearers who exemplify the spirit of the Olympic Games and the very best of New York City," continued Mayor Bloomberg.

More than 3,600 torchbearers from every corner of the world are expected to participate in the Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay with approximately 480 torchbearers taking part in the American portion of this historic event.  To obtain an official torchbearer nomination form for the Torch Relay in New York City, call 311 (outside New York City, call 212 NEW-YORK) or log onto to download a nomination form.  Nomination forms are also available at any of NYC & Company's Official Visitor Information Centers at 810 Seventh Avenue at 53rd Street, City Hall Park or 163 West 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.  Nominees must be at least 14 years of age and all nominations for New York City must be received by the United States Olympic Committee by February 23, 2004.

Along with the official nomination form, nominators will be asked to submit an essay of 50-100 words explaining how the nominee meets the criteria of being an inspirational person who reflects the best in humanity.  Athens 2004 invites nominees who are an inspiration in our everyday lives and deserve to unite the world by carrying the Olympic flame.  Nominees should reflect the values of the Olympic Games expressed as follows:

  • People who unite their communities through sport, education or culture;
  • People who inspire others through: Participation, Celebration, Human Scale and/or Heritage
    • Unity: People who build bridges between individuals, communities, cultures and generations.  Those who look to emphasize what makes us alike, not what sets us apart.
    • Human Scale: People who believe in the value of the individual - the strength of one person's deeds and the power of a single expression.  The extraordinary people who prove that one individual can make a difference.
    • Celebration: People who take joy in life and whose positive attitudes lift the spirits of those around them.
    • Participation: People who know life is not always about winning, but also about taking part.  Those who actively seek to experience life's adventures and challenges large or small.
    • Heritage: People who embrace history and culture and pass the lessons learned from one generation to the next, in order to build a brighter future.

The Olympic flame will be lit by the sun's rays during a traditional ceremony in Ancient Olympia, Greece on March 25, 2004, the anniversary of the date that the modern Olympic Games were revived in 1896.  The flame will travel from Olympia to the Panathinaiko Stadium in Athens, the site of the first Olympic Games of the modern era, before beginning its historic worldwide relay.  The Olympic flame will travel to all cities that have hosted the summer Olympic Games, as well as several other selected cities on its trek.  The relay will take the flame to each continent that is represented by the five Olympic rings, and will, for the first time, visit the continents of Africa and South America.  Over about 35 days the torch will be carried to 34 cities, including Ancient Olympia, in 26 countries worldwide.  New York will join Los Angeles, St. Louis and Atlanta as the U.S. cities that will play host to the Olympic Torch. 


Edward Skyler / Jennifer Falk   (212) 788-2958

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