07 Jun 2021
Today, an olive tree was planted in the garden of Olympic House. In the presence of IOC President Thomas Bach, Mayor of Lausanne Grégoire Junod, Consul of Greece in Geneva Orestis Kafopoulos and the President of the Amitiés Greco-Suisses Association, Alexandre Antipas, a ceremony was held to mark this kind donation from the state of Greece and Amitiés Greco-Suisses.
On this occasion, IOC President Thomas Bach spoke of what this tree symbolises: “This donation, for which we are extremely grateful, is another great expression of the friendship between Greece and the Olympic Movement. We are forever grateful to the Greek people for having made these two great gifts to humanity – democracy and the Olympic Games. This is why we until today consider Greece to be our spiritual home and, of course, our birthplace.”
He went on to say: “this olive tree is a great symbol of peace; this is not the only olive tree in Olympic House. You may have seen the sculpture of the Olive Tree, which was presented to us by Greek artist Aggelos Panayotidis. This links to our tradition, to our roots, but also our mission to contribute to peace through the Olympic Games and through sport.”
In reference to the link between Greece and the Olympic Movement, Consul of Greece in Geneva Orestis Kafopoulos said: “It is very important for us to come together to offer a token – an olive tree – as a sign of a long-lasting link. It is a young olive tree – they can last hundreds or thousands of year. We hope the roots will be very strong. For us, the Olympic ideal and the Olympic Games are part of our culture, our history and our DNA.”
President of Amitiés Greco-Suisses Alexandre Antipas concluded the ceremony, by saying: “It is these ideals of universality and peace that we want to commemorate today by planting this olive tree. I hope this tree takes root and lasts as long as the Movement that you represent.”