The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announces that the Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK on Friday 18 May 2012 and will travel around the UK for 70 days, arriving in London the weekend before the 2012 Games begin.
In line with the bid promise to inspire and connect a new generation to the Olympic Movement, 8,000 torch bearers will be selected with over half of the places expected to go to young people. There will be a torchbearer nomination process, expected to be announced in May 2011, giving people across the UK the chance to be involved in this historic countdown to the start of the London 2012 Games.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “The Olympic Torch Relay heralds the start of the London 2012 Games, bringing people across the UK together to celebrate the spirit of the Games. The London 2012 Torch Relay will connect people and places; young people to sport and the UK to the rest of the world.
We will be working closely with villages, towns and cities the length and breadth of the UK to ensure that as each community welcomes the Olympic Flame, they do so in a way that is unique and special to their area.”
As the Torch Relay travels around the UK, visiting different communities and cultures it will connect people to the Olympic Games, its heroes and its spirit. With 95% of the British population to be within a one hour journey time of the route, the Olympic Torch Relay will bring the 2012 Games to people’s doorsteps and showcase the best of the UK from dynamic urban areas to places of outstanding natural beauty and sporting and cultural landmarks.
Hugh Robertson, Sports and Olympics Minister, said: “The Torch Relay will bring the spirit of London 2012 to every corner of the country and give everybody the chance to experience first-hand the excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. I also hope that it will inspire a new generation of people, and particularly young people, to take up sport.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'The Olympic Flame is the most recognisable symbol of the modern Games and has an awesome history tracing back to ancient Greece. Its arrival on our shores in May 2012 marks not only the start of the London Torch Relay, but arguably the start of the most important three months in the capital's recent history.
“Representing peace and unity, the Torch Relay is yet another 'once in a lifetime' opportunity in 2012 for ordinary Londoners and visitors to come together and celebrate this historic and exciting moment.'
LOCOG is also today introducing the Olympic Torch Relay team that will help bring the Olympic Flame to the people of the UK. The three Presenting Partners, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung provide an optimum mix of Olympic Torch Relay expertise and well established community based programmes to support the staging of the relay.
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