POSTED: May 26th 2010

British will keep Olympic torch all to themselves in its literal run-up to London Games

London youngsters bring a human touch to the torch relay statement / Getty Images London 2012
London youngsters bring a human touch to the torch relay statement / Getty Images London 2012

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, May 26: No international relay this time ahead of the Summer Games in London in 2012 but that does not mean the torch bearing the Olympic flame will make its first appearance only at the Opening Ceremony.

Instead, the flame will arrive in the UK on Friday, May 18, and spend 70 days travelling around the country before arriving in London the weekend before the start.

Organisers have promised that more than half of the 8,000 torch-bearers will be young people after consideration of the results of a nomination process.

Lord Sebastian Coe, the LOCOG chairman, said: “The 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."

Any prospect of an international relay vanished after the disastrous experience ahead of the Beijing Games in 2018 when human rights protesters disrupted the relays in various western capitals.

** ArcelorMittal has signed up as steel partner of the London Games after confirmation that it will fund construction of a 115m-high ‘Orbit’ tower in the Olympic Park. Company chairman Lakshmi Mittal is considered Europe’s richest man.

Keywords · London 2012 · Olympic flame · torch · Coe

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