UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka is one of the high profile individuals selected to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay in Tanzania – the only African country through which the torch will be carried en route to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Among others taking part in the relay holding in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam are Kenyan track legend Kipchoge Keino and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. They will be participating under the banner of the Coca Cola Company which is a worldwide partner of the Olympic Torch Relay for the sixth time in 12 years.
“This is a great honour both to me as a person and to UN-HABITAT. The Olympics symbolizes the unity of humankind and to be chosen to participate in the Torch Relay is a once in a lifetime opportunity which I will greatly treasure,” said Mrs. Tibaijuka who is known to keep herself fit by jogging regularly.
Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, the torch’s origins lie in ancient Greece, when a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. The fire was reintroduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since.