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Peace Ride Coming to Athens

  Peace Ride Coming to Athens

The idea of cycling around the world was initiated by a small international group of cyclists in Athens, Greece, in 1993. During that travel they saw many people suffering from the war, religious and ethnic oppression, famine and catastrophes, therefore they decided that every human being could and should do something in his/her country thus contributing to the good will of the whole world.

The headquarters in Arizona, USA, made a large organisational campaign for the group of 500 people with representation of 2-3 participants from 185 countries of the world to find coordinators, plan the route through 64 countries, get financial support etc. However, due to the massiveness of the project and failure to find global sponsors, the idea nearly failed. However, the Peace Ride started as it was planned and is coming to Athens on 29 July.

The Great Millennium Peace Ride (GMPR) is a UNESCO supported event which now represents 11 riders from 7 countries: three Lithuanians - Sigitas Kucas (physicist, 48 years old), Edvardas Zizys (economist, 62 years old), Goda Ciplyte (philologist, 32 years old), two Italians - Carlotta Dall'aglio (secretary, 24 years old) and her friend Piercarlo Marin (wood artist, 27 years old), two Poles - Slawomir Platek (mechanic of electronics, 21 years old) and Waldemar Grabka (student of management, 26 years old), Oliver Stephan from Germany (23 years old), a Croatian girl - Ancica Komljenovic (student of physical training, 27 years old), Manuel Cortes from Mexico (26 years old) and Walter Ramon from Peru (32 years old).

The riders started the peace mission already a year ago - 6 August 1998 in Seattle (USA) and plan to finish the project on the 1 January 2000 in Hiroshima, Japan. Representing different cultures, traditions, beliefs and nations, the Peace Ride is an example of peaceful cross-cultural coexistence. Bicycle brings the riders close to the people, this allowing to better understand every culture and pass the message of peace and friendship. The marathon is an action too to think about the new millennium, to enter it with a hope for a more safe and better life. The riders carry a symbolical 40 meters long Peace Banner, in which they invite the people of good will and those who support peace ideas to write wishes or greetings for the next millennium. The President of the Republic of Lithuania was the first one to sign the Peace Banner. He wrote - Take the greetings of our people to every nation you will pass.

One of the goals of the ride is to promote the modern means of communication as a tool that helps to build democracy and understanding. The group has Latitude - a portable DELL computer given by the company ARS COMPUTANDI, therefore is able to communicate with the whole world as well as to send information and photos about their travelling to the Web site created by "La Generale Multimedia Sud".

The Peace Ride is an open event therefore everybody is welcome for at least short distance. Since the beginning more than 600 cyclists took part in this challenging marathon which has made already over 17.000 km through 31 countries of North and South Americas, Africa and Europe, and is heading for the Middle East. In Europe the ride visited the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and joined cycling events in Brussels and Amsterdam, while in Lithuania the ride was received by the President of the Republic of Lithuania and the Chairman of the Parliament.

"In Mexico, Peru, Ghana, Poland, Lithuania, Byelorussia we received a lot of attention - local authorities, journalists and television welcomed us in every town. However, the most important is the help of common people which we meet every day. It makes our trip successful", said Sigitas Kucas, the international coordinator.
01-03-2021 05:27:07
By bicycle around the World

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