17 May 2021
Today, the Olympic flame and the Hiroshima Peace Flame were united, as the Olympic Torch Relay was held in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The torchbearers had the opportunity to perform torch kisses in front of the Hiroshima Peace Flame, which was lit in 1964 as a symbol of peace.
“Today we are uniting the Hiroshima Peace Flame and the Olympic flame in a universal call for peace,” said IOC President Thomas Bach in a message read on his behalf during the evening ceremony.
President Bach spoke of his sympathy for all the people remembered in this special place, as well as the commitment to peace that has bonded the people of Hiroshima and the IOC.
“Because already 3,000 years ago, there was an inseparable link between the ancient Olympic Games and peace. This contribution to peace by the Olympic Games was also the guiding principle for Pierre de Coubertin when he created the International Olympic Committee in 1894.
“This peace mission is at the heart of the Olympic Games, which unite the entire world in all our diversity. Our mission for peace is also acknowledged by the United Nations, which adopts the Olympic Truce resolution by consensus ahead of every edition of the Olympic Games.
“What better moment and what better place than the arrival of the Olympic flame in Hiroshima, your city of peace, for us to join our voices. From Hiroshima, the Olympic flame will carry this powerful message of peace to Tokyo and then, from Tokyo, on 23 July, to the entire world. So let us now unite the Hiroshima Peace Flame and the Olympic flame in our universal call for peace.”
The Olympic Torch Relay, in which so far more than 4,000 torch bearers have enthusiastically participated, continues its journey across Japan under the slogan of “Hope Lights Our Way”. The Olympic flame is promoting the strong message of peace and hope to the world as it engages the Japanese population across the country. Hiroshima marks the 25th prefecture of the flame’s journey, and it will continue to travel through all of Japan’s 47 prefectures towards its final destination – the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Tokyo on 23 July.