May. 09 2011
Lord Michael Bates member of the House of Lords and former Minister of the British Government, who is now playing a leading part in a campaign for the observation of the Olympic Truce during the London 2012 Olympic Games, visited today the Panathenaic Stadium.
The HOC President, Mr. Spyros Capralos welcomed Lord Bates and guided him at the historical Stadium – open for the public since last year – in which the Olympic Games were revived in 1896.
“It is very important for Greece to have such eminent persons visiting the country knowing its history. The visit of Lord Bates is of major importance and has a symbolic role in the effort we are all making for the prevalence of peace and solidarity. We, as the HOC we are expressing our full support in his work for the spread of the Olympic Truce”, said Mr. Capralos.
The Panathenaic Stadium is an important stop in the travelogue of 6.500 km from Olympia to London where he is expected to arrive shortly before the opening of the London Olympic Games. The British pacifist started on 22nd April, from the place were the Olympic Games were born and will walk until the British capital in order to praise the Olympic Truce which is part of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly which invites the country-members to develop initiatives for the Truce and reconciliation in the spirit of the ancient Games. The specific resolution is signed by all the country members before each Olympic Games but is ignored afterwards.
“It is the first time I am visiting the ancient Stadium and my feelings are very intense. It reminds me of Ancient Olympia and I would like to stress that you Greeks are very lucky to have such a beautiful country with so rich historical heritage. The HOC is the first among the Olympic Committees of the world as the Olympic Games were born here and of course I shall need your help as we have a common vision for the Olympic truce” said Lord Bates. He also visited the Kids’ Athletics program at the Panathenaic Stadium with the pupils of the 5th public school of Nea Smyrni and gave them their commemorative diplomas.
Regarding the goal of his effort Lord Bated added: “I hope that my action together with the actions of other people, will underline the opportunities of the United Kingdom’s Government, during the London Olympic Games and afterwards. Top opportunity among them is the creation of the humanistic effort to vaccinate and immunize children in various areas of the planet severely hit by war where warring sides will accept to keep the Truce”.