ANCIENT GREEK TRIREME "OLYMPIAS"
TO SAIL INTO NEW YORK HARBOR
FIRST the bad news: The ancient Greek TRIREME OLYMPIAS, with 170 of Britain's finest rowers at the oars, will not proceed down the Thames bearing the Olympic flame at the start of the 2012 London Olympics.
The Financial Times reports that Martin Green, the head of ceremonies for London's organizing committee (Locog), said there were "major concerns" from London's transport and security agencies that the trireme would create overcrowding along the Thames as the flame passed by....There was also discussion about people throwing themselves off bridges," he said.
Now the good news: The OLYMPIAS will instead visit the American East Coast during 2013, it has just been reported.
Plans are being made to bring the Hellenic Navy vessel Olympias for its first voyage in the U.S. A world-class exhibition on Athenian maritime history is among the many exciting activities being organized to promote the ship's historic visit
The Olympias is scheduled to be transported to the United States, premiering with its arrival at historic Yorktown and beginning its tour in Norfolk and Jamestown, Virginia. It will also visit Annapolis, Maryland, and then be the centerpiece of the US Navy's 236th birthday celebration in Washington D.C.
The final stop will be New York City, where the tour will finish with a send-off gala to be held on Veterans Day.
The ship's tour will showcase the Trireme Olympias as a symbol of democracy and freedom, one of the major Hellenistic contributions to the world.
Completed in July 1987, the Olympias is 37 meters (40 yards) long and has a 1.3-meter (4-foot) draught. Its construction was based on plans drawn up by British naval architect John. F. Coates and historian J. S. Morrison.
In the past, it has also been used in the 2004 Olympic Games torch relay to bring the Olympic Torch to Piraeus but, due to high maintenance costs, was put in dry dock on November 25, 2005, where it has remained ever since, technically as a part of the Battleship G. Averoff Naval Museum.