Olympic officials and special guests gather to launch ‘The Truce Story’

Perhaps it should also have been called «The Camouflage Story,» the presentation at a ceremony to present the schoolbook titled «The Truce Story.» The biggest problem is visible all around us in the construction site that is Athens, as the clock’s hands move around toward the time of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, with less than 170 days to go, and International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge now speaking frankly of the IOC’s concern as to whether the venues will be ready in time. The ruling PASOK party’s new chairman and instigator, as foreign minister, of the idea of an Olympic Truce, attended the launch of the book at Zappeion Hall with a reception and speeches later at the Inter-Continental Hotel. The launch was attended by children from schools around Attica. The book, which has been translated into seven languages, has the support of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura – who was represented as always at International Cultural Olympiads by Goodwill Ambassador Marianna Vardinoyianni. Speeches were also given by George Papandreou, as vice president of the International Olympic Truce Center, who invited the children «to become ambassadors of peace,» the director of the center Stavros Lambrinidis, the IOC’s Jacques Rogge, as well as the «high priestess» of the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympic, Thaleia Prokopiou.