THE OLIVE TREE

I am the sun’s daughter the most beloved of all God has blessed me and I am in full flourish.

The above lyrics were written by a Greek poet, member of the Athenian Academy a hundred years ago, Kostis Palamas.

He was the one who wrote the Olympic Games hymn in 1895. Up until 1960 the hymn was only heard in the language it had been written, the Greek one. Since then the International Olympic Committee has decided that the Olympic hymn is heard in the language of each running country.There couldn’t be a better poet than Kostis Palamas to write the most perfect poem for the blessed olive tree as Olympic Games winners were crowned with wreaths made of its branches 2.500 years ago in Ancient Olympia.

The olive tree belongs to the olive species fruitful trees.Its fruit bears the same name with the tree and olive oil is produced by it. The olive tree is an evergreen tree with narrow, sharp dark green leaves. Its flowers are white. There are at least twenty species of olive trees. Its height averagely reaches three meters but it can even reach 20 meters. It is considered to be an eternal tree since it can survive for thousands of years. A distinctive example of an ever-lasting olive tree exists in Crete. It’s the olive tree located in Vouves area in Chania and it is one of the most ancient surviving olive trees on earth. It is more than 3000 years old. The perimeter of the trunk is 12m and the diameter 3,65m. It has been announced as a global natural monumen.Wreaths made of its branches were used to crown the first Olympic winner in the Marathon in the Athenian Olympic Games in 2004 as well as the Olympic Games held in Beijing in 2008. In each branch one can notice two olive leaves instead of one which symbolizes companionship, unity and life.