By Aspasia Zontanou
For the first time in the history of Düsseldorf, the Marathon flame travelled from Athens on Friday, April 24, to the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia, protected in a special box. Düsseldorf Mayor Thomas Geisel and Greek General Consul Gregory Delavekouras welcomed the Marathon flame at the airport.
The Mayor was the first to start the torch relay and 26 well-known runners carried the flame from the airport with Thorsten Klute, State Secretary of Nord Rhine-Westphalia and Maria Polyzou, a Greek Marathon runner, finally arriving after 15 kilometres at the Düsseldorf city hall.
The flame stands as a symbol of peace and hope for the Olympic ideals of fair competition and serves the principles of sports, promoting the participation in running as a way of life.
Mayor Geisel marked the Marathon flame “a knightly accolade for the excellent Metro Group Marathon in Düsseldorf.”
The daughters of the Mayor and General Consul, Charlotte Geisel and Despina Delavekouras, ignited the flame in a bowl placed in front of the city hall, which will keep on burning for the next three days.