Athens 2004 - Olympic Torch Relay

In August 2004, the Olympic Games returned to the country where they were born over 2,500 years ago, and to Athens the city of their revival in 1896. Within the framework of the Olympic Coin Program, the Greek Mint issued a series of commemorative coins, Gold and Silver, on which Greek history and heritage were engraved. The total collection includes 18 coins (6 Gold and 12 Silver) which were released in 6 quarterly issues, each consisting of 1 Gold and 2 Silver coins. The themes were selected by the Minister for the National Economy and the Governor of the Bank of Greece, from a set of proposals presented by a national technical and artistic committee.

Series ASeries BSeries C Series DSeries ESeries F Torch Relay
Issue date 3.3.2003 2.6.2003 1.9.2003 3.11.2003 1.4.2004 31.5.2004 2004

The Olympic Flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games. Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics[citation needed]. The fire was reintroduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since.

In contrast to the Olympic flame proper, the torch relay of modern times which transports the flame from Greece to the various designated sites of the games had no ancient precedent and was introduced by Carl Diem at the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Olympic Torch Relay 2004 Gold coin A
Description: The tradition of the Olympic torch relay, which culminates in the lighting of the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony of each Games, dates from 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. To symbolize the link between the ancient and modern Olympic Games the flame is lit in a ceremony at Olympia, Greece, and carried by runners to the stadium; the lighting of the Olympic cauldron has become the most hallowed moment of the Olympic Games. On March 24, 2004, the lighting of the Olympic Flame took place in Olympia. This theme is depicted on the first gold coin.
Olympic Torch Relay 2004 Silver coin A Olympic Torch Relay 2004 Silver coin B Olympic Torch Relay 2004 Silver coin C Olympic Torch Relay 2004 Silver coin D
Description: The ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay was the first trully universal realy ever. The Olympic Flame started its journey from Ancient Olympia and was carried by 3,6 thousand torch bearers across 34 cities throught the world. On June 3, 2004, the flame was carried to Australia, from where it travelled to Asia, Africa anbd America. It was the first time the Olympic Flame was transported to Africa and South America. The Flame returned to Europe and reached its final destination, Latvia, on July 8, 2004. The four silver coins depict the Olympic Torch Relay from Europe to the other four continents.
Olympic Torch Relay 2004 Gold coin B
Description: The flame returned to Greece on July 9, 2004. In the torch relay 7,700 torch bearers carried the flame accross the mainland of the country and its islands, and after 31 days, it retuned to Attica. On August 13, 2004, it entered the Olympic Stadium lighting the central alter which remained lit throughout the Games. This theme is depicted on the second gold coin.

The 2004 Summer Olympics Torch Relay took the Olympic flame across every habitable continent, returning to Athens, Greece. Every city which had hosted the Summer Olympics was revisited by the torch, as well as several other cities chosen for their international importance.

The relay was the first time the Olympic flame had travelled to Africa, India and South America. The flame was transported from country to country aboard a specially-equipped Boeing 747 leased from Atlanta Icelandic (Registration TF-ARO) called Zeus. On board the flame was carried and burned continuously in specially modified miners lamps supplied by Protector Lamp of England.