POSTED: May 18th 2011

Land's End launch for the 8,000-mile, round-Britain 2012 Olympics torch relay

Lord Coe: looking forward one year /
Lord Coe: looking forward one year /

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, May 18: Exactly one year from today the Olympic Flame will arrive in Britain for the start of the London 2012 Torch Relay - one which will go 'only' around the country and not around the world after the contentious manner of the 2008 relay.

The first 74 locations on the 2012 relay route were named with a start at Land's End on an 8,000m odyssey which will take in every nation and region, including island visits.

A search for 8,000 "inspirational torchbearers" has also been launched, half of whom will be aged between 12 and 24. The relay was revived for modern times at the 1936 Berlin Games.

LOCOG, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, said the torch will leave Land's End, Cornwall, on the morning of Saturday, May 19, 2012 - the day after it arrives in the UK from Greece.

During the 70-day relay, it will pass through towns and cities including Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton and Dover, travelling for about 12 hours a day and arriving at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony.

LOCOG chairman Lord Coe said: "What we have learned from other relays is it's releasing creativity and excitement, in people's backyards and I want to replicate that. The stopovers at night will have a party atmosphere, there will be stage shows, there will be the opportunity to showcase local talent."

The flame will be carried by 8,000 torchbearers, 7,200 of whom will be members of the public. Half of the torchbearer places are expected to go to people aged between 12 and 24 years of age "who are considered leading lights in their local communities."

Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said the relay would "bring London 2012 to the doorsteps of the UK giving everybody the chance to celebrate the London Games."

He added: "It's a magnificent showcase for the country and a chance to mark the achievements of inspirational people in our communities."

Keywords · London 2012 · torch relay · Olympic Games · Coe

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