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zaterdag, mei 19, 2012

Crowds greet Olympic torch relay

David Beckham uses a torch to light a cauldron at RNAS CuldroseThe torch relay will begin in Cornwall after the flame arrived in the UK on Friday

The Olympic flame is embarking on a 70-day tour of the UK on Saturday morning in the run-up to the London 2012 Games.

Triple Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Ben Ainslie will be the first torchbearer in the 8,000 mile relay, which sets off from Land's End.

During the day it will be borne by more than 100 people including Olympians Duncan Goodhew and Michael Lapage.

The flame will travel through Cornwall into Devon where there will be an evening celebration in Plymouth.

TV presenter Ben Fogle and six of the Military Wives choir, who had a Christmas number one single, will also be torchbearers.

Mr Fogle will be carrying the flame in a helium-filled balloon in the Eden Project rainforest biome.

The Olympic flame arrived on Friday evening on board a special BA flight from Athens to Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, Cornwall.

London 2012 Olympic torch relay

Torch relay graphic

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The Princess Royal carried it off the plane in a lantern and footballer David Beckham then lit a cauldron from a golden London 2012 torch.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was at the Royal Naval air station to formally welcome the flame with 500 members of the public, armed forces and dignitaries.

He said: "Eight thousand people will pass it from hand-to-hand, a human chain that reaches the length and breadth of Britain.

"With every step, the excitement will build. Ten weeks from now, the world will watch as the flame arrives at the Olympic Stadium, bringing with it the hopes of a nation."

Chairman of Olympic organisers Locog, Lord Coe, who went to Greece for the lighting and handover of the flame, said this next stage in the build-up to the Games was a "magical moment for any host country".

First torchbearer

The flame is spending the night on the base before being flown to Land's End by Royal Navy search and rescue helicopter early on Saturday morning to start the relay.

It will be carried to the world-famous signpost at mainland UK's most southerly point, where the first torch will be lit shortly after 07:00 BST.

There, triple Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Ben Ainslie, who on Friday won a record sixth Finn world title, will be the first of 8,000 torchbearers who will carry it across the country.

He said the flame's arrival in the UK, "Is a fantastic moment for the country. To have the flame on home soil gives everyone a chance to feel close to the Olympics and build up to the Games themselves."

The torch visits the four nations of the UK before being taken to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford on 27 July for the opening ceremony of the Games.

It will travel through 1,019 cities, towns and villages, on foot or in convoy, and drop in at UK landmarks like the Giant's Causeway and Stonehenge.

It will be carried by bearers, or taken in a convoy and will also be transported by boat, bicycle, tram and train.

Proud moment

Cornish surfer Tassy Swallow, who will take the flame from Ainslie and be second to run with the torch, said: "I'm definitely Cornish at heart and excited to be carrying the flame.

"I've got quite a lot of pressure on me, but I'm proud to represent St Ives, my sport of surfing and everybody who voted for me, I just want to make them proud."

The flame will travel through 1,019 cities, towns and villages, on foot or in convoy, and drop in at UK landmarks such as the Giant's Causeway and Stonehenge.

Over its 8,000 mile journey it will be carried by bearers, or taken in a convoy and will also be transported by boat, bicycle, tram and train.

Hip Hop artist Labrinth will headline the first evening celebration on Plymouth Hoe which starts at 19:00 BST.

The free two-hour stage show will also feature Britain's Got Talent finalists Twist & Pulse.

Later, the torch will visit BBC Radio 1's dance party at Paignton, Torbay.

The torch visits the four nations of the UK before being carried into the Olympic Stadium in Stratford on 27 July for the opening ceremony of the Games.

The flame, meant to represent purity, was kindled from the rays of the sun using a parabolic mirror in a ceremony on 10 May at Olympia, the home of the ancient Olympic Games.

It was taken on a 1,800 mile-long relay around Greece before being handed over to the Princess Royal on Thursday evening at the Panathenaic stadium, Athens.

A flame first burned for a modern summer Olympic Games at Amsterdam 1928, but it was not until Berlin 1936 that a full torch relay was staged.

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Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18119893#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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