On October 6, 2008. The World Harmony Run, a rely run which seeks to cultivate harmony by passing a burning torch among people of different cultures, finished its European journey in Prague.
9-time Olympic champion Carl Lewis and deputy Mayor of Prague Markéta Reedová ran together with the World Harmony Run team for the final kilometers. They carried the World Harmony torch over the Charles Bridge and to Old Town Square.
“The World Harmony Run, founded in 1987 by Sri Chinmoy, who was the most peaceful person I knew, has inspired millions in Europe and all over the planet to take a step for harmony and a better world,” Carl Lewis said at a reception of the team at the House of Parliament, Senate and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
The delegation of runners headed by Carl Lewis, the World Harmony Run spokesperson, started this morning from Prague Castle at 10 AM to run to the House of Parliament, where they were received by members of Parliament headed by Anna Čurdová. In the Senate, the torch was received by the deputy chairman Jiří Liška. He symbolically ran with Lewis and the team in the Valdstejnska Garden. After another reception, this time at the Ministry of Education, the torch was accepted by the deputy minister Jan Kocourek who then headed with the runners to Mostecka Tower. There he passed the torch to the Prague deputy Mayor Markéta Reedová.
Mrs Reedová, Carl Lewis and runners from all 49 European countries then ran over the Charles Bridge and arrived just after 1 PM to the stage at the Old Town Square. Deputy Mayor Markéta Reedová spoke to the international runners and then together with the sport legend Carl Lewis and the Executive Director of the run Salil Wilson lighted the beacon of harmony. The World Harmony torch that travelled through all the 49 European countries was then passed between ambassadors, mayors and other guests. The ceremony culmination was a song, composed by World Harmony Run founder Sri Chinmoy, performed by the renowned violin player Pavel Šporcl, Patron of the Run in Czech Republic, the children’s philharmonic orchestra from Liberec and children’s chorus Slavíčci (Nightingales) from Prague. After a release of 7 doves the World Harmony Run torch was headed to a representative form Ireland where the run will start again in 2010.
The European leg of the World Harmony Run, a worldwide relay run fostering international friendship and understanding, started in Rome on March 27th, 2008. In Europe the international team of runners carried the torch for 24.000 kilometers through all 49 European countries. This year the Run will visit more than 100 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. About 1 million participants are expected. The World Harmony Run was founded in 1987 by the Indian philosopher Sri Chinmoy (Shree Chin-moy) (1931-2007) as an opportunity for people from different countries to express their hopes and wishes for a more harmonious world. The Run is organized by the World Harmony Run association in cooperation with local authorities, schools and sport clubs. From 22 to 29 May coming from Holland an international team of runners had covered 800 km in Germany between Bremen, Schwerin and Berlin and visited 5500 school children to promote harmony.
More at World Harmony Run.org