The Olympic Flame
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The Olympic Flame

The 2012 Olympic flame was officially lit at the Temple of Hera in Greece last week and is now being carried in relay form around mainland Greece and the islands.On Saturday May 19th it arrives in England at Lands End in Cornwall and will begin its epic journey around Great Britain.

Last week at the Temple of Hera in Greece a ceremony took place that happens at the same venue every four years.But this year the ceremony was watched by Lord Coe and 14 other delegates from the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Greek actress Imo Menegaki took the role of the High Priestess and using a parabolic mirror and some olive oil she captured the morning sun's rays to light the 2012 Olympic Flame.The first torchbearer was Greek world 10k swimming champion Spyros Gianniotis who was born in England.

Thr torch is currently being carried in relay form around the Greek mainland and islands.Six days from now on Saturday May 19th it will arrive in the UK at Lands End at the Southernmost tip of Cornwall.The first torchbearer to start off from there is British sailing Champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie.

He will run the first leg of the Olympic torch's epic journey around the UK which will last 70 days travelling through 1,000 cities,towns and villages en route to the Olympic Stadium.

The torch is very light so it can be carried by both adults and youngsters.Made of aluminium and painted gold it is a 3-sided cone with 8,000 perforated in its shell representing the 8,000 torchbearers.Each torchbearer has their own torch lighting the next person's flame as they reach the end of their leg.Each torchbearer will have the opportunity to purchase a torch at the end of the Games but it will not necessarily be the one that they carried and it will cost them around £200 to own this unique souvenir of their moment of glory.

Nominations were invited last year for members of the public to become torchbearers and they received many more applications than there were places available.From these initial applications a shortlist for each area was drawn up and each candidate knew they had a 14-1 chance of being selected.

Just before Christmas the successful applicants were notified whilst the unsuccessful candidates received a message of commiseration from Lord Coe.

Only the most heroic candidates have been chosen to light up the Games and their stories are inspirational.There is the heroic pilot nicknamed Captain Fantastic who saved the lives of 152 people on a British Airways jet when the engines of his Boeing 777 suddenly failed as it approached Heathrow Airport,who was nominated by BA.

Eddie Kidd,the daredevil motor cycle stuntman who nearly died in a horrific accident and is now confined to a wheelchair was selected after he completed the London Marathon on crutches.He will carry the torch through Lewes, the county town of Sussex near his home.

12-year-old Garvey Evans who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago and had a tumour removed from his brain has been chosen for his optimism which has inspired so many other desperately ill youngsters.Garvey works with the CLIC Sargent cancer charity in Bristol.

Every one of the torchbearers has an inspirational story to tell and they are all so modest they cannot believe they have been chosen.

The torch will be carried in relays on the road,by train and other means of transport until it finally reaches London on July 21st,6 days before Games begin.

The name of the torchbearer who will have the honour of lighting the bowl in the stadium has not yet been made but each and every one of them will remember then day they played an important part of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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Comments (1)

Nice article