|The Olympic Games constitute one of the noblest feats in the evolution of our civilisation. A creation of the ancient Greeks, they now belong to world cultural heritage - a possession of the whole of humanity.|
In the holy site of Olympia, where the historical chariot race between Oenomaus and Pelops decided the winner and master of the Peloponnese, the first page of a story was written, destined to glorify the ancient Greek world.
The Games first organised in 776 B.C. and repeated every four years, had grown to include 23 events and were the most renown and revered in the whole of the ancient world. For they developed from a mere athletic meeting to a spiritual and intellectual creation and from an opportunity for displaying bodily might and stamina to a site of exhibition of ethos, culture and superiority.
The apex of this ethos was the notion of truce, that is, the cessation of hostilities between warring parties, in order to enable the games to be held in an atmosphere devoid of tension and passions, away from racial and political differences, in a climate of mutual understanding and tolerance, in a spirit of Peace.
This new ethos constitutes also the essence of Olympic spirit which the noble visionary of great ideals, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, wanted to revive. After his own inspiration and initiative, the first Olympic Games of the new era took place in 1896 in Greece, the land of their inception.
One thousand years after the games were cancelled (in 394 A.D), the message of the fighting ethos, noble competition, respect for the opponent, complete respect to the rules of "competing well" is being sent out to humanity again.
Cyprus is participating for the third time in the Olympic Games with athletes in the Sailing, Truck and Field, Shooting and Judo events, to express its deep commitment to the eternal and universal ideals of Olympism.
Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.