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The Olympic Torch visits the Council of Europe on its way to Paris

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The Olympic Torch was greeted by parliamentarians representing 46 European countries, the Secretary General and representatives of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and staff of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. This was the first time that the Olympic Committee approved that the Olympic Torch would enter a building and a Parliament on its way to the opening of an Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The exceptional reason was that the Council of Europe this years celebrates its 75th Anniversary.

A torch-bearer passed through crowds of well-wishers in the streets of Strasbourg before running past the flags of the Council of Europe’s 46 member states, up the steps of its headquarters, the Palais de l’Europe, and through its main entrance, where it was accorded the honour of a red-carpet welcome. The Torch then entered the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly chamber.

The Olympic Torch enters the Parliamentary Assembly for the firs time. Photo:
The Olympic Torch enters the Parliamentary Assembly for the firs time. Photo: THIX Photo

The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Theodoros Rousopoulos welcomed the Torch and recalled the 2,800-year-old origins of the Games in his native Greece, and their historic link with France through Pierre de Coubertin’s revival of the modern Games in 1896.

“We welcome the Olympic flame of peace into the cradle of human rights!” declared the President as the Torch burned in the centre of the Chamber. “We send our best wishes to the International Olympic Committee and to France for the organisation of the Games of the 33rd Olympiad. Bonne route pour Paris!”

The Torch is being carried by some 11,500 runners on its 12,500-kilometre journey from Ancient Olympia in Greece to the host city of Paris.

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