Athens Environmental Foundation Brings the "Wreath"
Emeryville, CA, February 4, 2004; The Athens Environmental Foundation
(AEF), at the invitation of the Interim Committee to Administer
Sport in Iraq (ICTASI), participated at the election of the New
Iraq Olympic Committee on January 29, 2004 and dedicated the Global
Olive Wreath to the new Iraqi Executive Board.
AEF Executive Board member and Olympian Michael Voudouris joined
the delegation that attended the elections in Sulaimaniya City (Northern
Iraq) together with members of the International Olympic Committee
(IOC), the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), members of the
Iraqi Governing Council, and representatives from the United States
Voudouris presided at a dedication ceremony, as part of AEF's Global
Olive Wreath Project, in which he presented the Spirit of Athena
Award to the members of the new Iraqi Executive Board, including
its President, Ahmed Abdul Ghafoor Al-Samarrai. The Global Olive
Wreath, a project inspired by the three official Olympic dimensions
of Sport, Culture and the Environment, involves the planting of
trees in six continents along the 2004 Olympic Torch Route as well
as in the world's most troubled places including Iraq, Israel, Palestine
and Northern Ireland.
On April 30, 2004, schools around the world will participate in
AEF's Olympic Year Global Olive Wreath Project where Olympians will
join school children to plant trees on that date to honor the homecoming
of the Olympics to Greece this summer. The events are designed around
a "homecoming" theme and will welcome home Olympians and
welcome every country into the Global Olive Wreath of peace, and
prosperity. The Global Olive Wreath encompasses the three Olympic
dimensions and includes the participation of Olympians at tree-planting
events the world over. Schools in every country, including Iraq
will be planting trees to honor the homecoming of the Olympics.
As a foundation, AEF seeks to inspire schoolchildren and people
about the Olympic ideals of Sport, Culture, and care for the Environment,
and in the spirit of the ancient Greeks, bring a message about peace
and democracy with its worldwide programs.
AEF is the world's leading organization promoting global "homecoming"
celebrations to honor the return of the Games to Greece for the
first time this century. "The ancient Greeks gave us two magnificent
gifts, the Olympics, which is the celebration of peaceful competition
through sport, and democracy," said Tony Diamantidis, AEF Founder
and Executive Director. "As an emerging democracy, it is fitting
that Greeks have a presence both in the restoration of the Olympics
in Iraq, and as a witness to the promise of democracy there."
The Iraqi Executive Board expressed its gratitude that an Olympian
from the country that is hosting this years Olympics was present
at this momentous event. Voudouris, Salt Lake 2002 Greek Olympian,
said, "I am honored to be present at the first democratic election
of the Iraqi National Olympic Committee in over 40 years. It is
with great joy that we welcome Iraq into the Global Olive Wreath
and look forward to Iraqs participation in the Olympic games
The Athens Environmental Foundation (AEF) is a non-profit, non-governmental
organization established to organize, support and promote global
programs for Sport and Environmental responsibility associated with
the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and future Olympic Games. In
1994 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) adopted the Environment
as the third pillar of the Olympic charter, along with Sport and
Culture. Since that time, environmental responsibility has been
at the heart of the Olympic movement.
To learn more about AEF, visit their website at www.athensenvironmental.org
or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.