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woensdag, mei 23, 2012

Torch relay starts in UK

Olympic sailor and the first London 2012 torchbearer, Ben Ainslee, poses next to the Land's End sign in Cornwall.Olympic sailor and the first London 2012 torchbearer, Ben Ainslee, poses next to the Land's End sign in Cornwall.
Former England footballer David Beckham, left, lights the Olympic torch upon its arrival at RNAS Culdrose Air Base in Cornwall, southwest England, on Friday, May 18.Former England footballer David Beckham, left, lights the Olympic torch upon its arrival at RNAS Culdrose Air Base in Cornwall, southwest England, on Friday, May 18.
The Olympic torch relay will begin on Saturday at Land's End in the southwestern tip of England.The Olympic torch relay will begin on Saturday at Land's End in the southwestern tip of England.
The relay kick-off with begin an 8,000-mile (12,875 kilometer) trip around England with a detour to Dublin, Ireland.
The relay kick-off with begin an 8,000-mile (12,875 kilometer) trip around England with a detour to Dublin, Ireland.
Britain's Princess Anne, from left, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, 2012 Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe and former England footballer David Beckham, right, cross the tarmack with the Olympic flame lantern.Britain's Princess Anne, from left, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, 2012 Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe and former England footballer David Beckham, right, cross the tarmack with the Olympic flame lantern.
The Olympic torch relay will culminate in the flame's arrival at the Olympic Stadium for the opening of the Summer Games on July 27.
The Olympic torch relay will culminate in the flame's arrival at the Olympic Stadium for the opening of the Summer Games on July 27.
A broad view sets the scene of the ceremony surrounding the arrival of the Olympic flame in the United Kingdom.A broad view sets the scene of the ceremony surrounding the arrival of the Olympic flame in the United Kingdom.
  • The 70-day torch relay started in Land's End, Cornwall, and will finish in London
  • The flame will pass within 10 miles of 95% of the U.K. population along the route
  • Ben Ainslie, who has won three Olympic golds in sailing, was the first torchbearer
  • The flame was lit on May 10 at ancient Olympia, in Greece, birthplace of the Games

London (CNN) -- The Olympic torch began its 70-day, 8,000-mile journey around Britain Saturday from Land's End in Cornwall, with three-time Olympic gold medal winner Ben Ainslie the first to carry the torch.

Ainslie, a sailor who grew up in Cornwall, southwest England, passed the torch on to 18-year-old surfer Anastassia Swallow, the second torchbearer.

More than 100 people will carry the flame on the first day of its long voyage, during which it will take in towns, villages and cities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland before reaching London.

The Olympic flame arrived at a Royal Air Force base in Cornwall on Friday, carried by Princess Anne, the president of the British Olympic Association and also an Olympian.

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She received the flame at an elaborate handover ceremony in Athens Thursday. The flame had been on an eight-day journey round Greece after being lit at ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympics, on May 10.

The flame was also accompanied on its flight from Greece by footballer David Beckham, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Sebastian Coe, head of the London 2012 organizing group.

"The arrival of the Olympic Flame on home soil is a magical moment for any host country," Coe said. "It will connect millions of people around the UK to the Games in a unique way and allows us to celebrate the best of the UK and its people."

The route for the torch relay has been designed so that the flame will pass within 10 miles of 95% of the U.K. population before its arrival at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 27.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who greeted the flame on its arrival in Cornwall, said it was the start of an exciting journey.

"Today, the Olympic flame begins its journey across the nation. 8,000 people will pass it from hand to hand, a human chain that reaches the length and breadth of Britain.

"It will visit a thousand towns, and be seen by millions; with every step, the excitement will build. And 10 weeks from now, the world will watch as the flame arrives at the new Olympic Stadium, bringing with it the hopes of a nation," Clegg said.

London last hosted the Olympic Games in 1948.

Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_sport/~3/7yiIDnLgszg/index.html

interesting photography wired bbc