Feb. 08 2012
The British Minister for Europe, David Lidington, is on an official visit to Athens on 7-8 February.
As part of his programme he visited Panathinaic Stadium on 7 February, the location for the handover of the Olympic Flame for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on 17 May 2012.
Accompanied by the British Ambassador Dr David Landsman, the Minister met Deputy Mayor of the City of Athens, Ms Eva Kontostathakou and Stadium officials. The Vice Mayor welcomed him to Athens and along with Ms Denise Panagopoulou of Hellenic Olympic Committee gave him a brief tour of the Stadium and explained the traditions of the handover ceremony and took him to the space on the museum wall, which is ready and waiting for one of the London 2012 torches.
The Minister’s visit took him through the tunnel where the first Modern Olympians gathered before competing on the stadium track.
The Minister for Europe was impressed with the setting and the history of the venue and he spoke briefly about the preparations for the Olympic and Paralympic Games London 2012. The Minister wrote in the visitors’ book:
“Thank you for this reminder of the history of the Olympic Games. London will welcome the world this year.”