Sir Steve Redgrave with torch in 2004
Olympic Torch Relay in London
London welcomes the Olympic Flame on Sunday 6 April 2008, as part of the global Olympic Torch Relay in the run up to the Beijing Olympic Games.
The capital's leg of the Torch Relay will include a number of boroughs, taking in diverse communities and historic and modern locations.
The Olympic flame will be carried through London by 80 torchbearers leading to a major community event which will include the lighting of a cauldron by the final torchbearer.
Torchbearers will include public figures such as Arsenal footballer, Theo Walcott, TV presenter Konnie Huq, violinist Vanessa Mae and veteran newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald. Aspiring British athletes hoping to take part in the London 2012 Games and young people nominated for personal achievements will also be part of the torch-carrying team.
Celebrity torchbearers taking part:
It is hoped there will be many opportunities for Londoners and visitors to view the Relay and participate in the occasion at different events along the route.
The London Route of the 2008 Torch Relay
Spectators can cheer on the torchbearers as they carry the Olympic Flame through Notting Hill, Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Trafalgar Square, the South Bank, the City and East London before it reaches North Greenwich and the day ends with a free, ticketed event.
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The Olympic Flame will be lit in London at 10.30am at Wembley Stadium before passing through 10 London boroughs and past iconic landmarks to reach a grand finale at Greenwich Peninsula featuring the Sugababes.
There will be a few closures in Central London of Engineers Way, Lancaster Road, Bloomsbury Square East, Great Russell Street, Gerrard Place and Wardour Street.
Key route timings are as follows:
Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London said: 'Following the outstanding success of the Athens Olympic Torch Relay in London in 2004, it is a great honour for our city to participate in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay and once again carry the Olympic spirit of friendship and co-operation between nations across the world.
World Map of the Olympic Torch Relay
The Olympic flame for the Beijing Games will be lit in Olympia, Greece, on March 31. With the theme of “Journey of Harmony” and the slogan of “Light the Passion, Share the Dream”, the Olympic flame will travel along the historic Silk Road, and visit 22 cities, including London, on the five inhabited continents from April 2008 onwards.
After travelling throughout the mainland of China, a country with 1.3 billion people, and reaching the summit of the world – Mt. Qomolangma (Everest) – the Olympic flame will finally arrive at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and light the main cauldron on 8 August 2008.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay, with the participation of more than 20,000 Torchbearers, the duration of 130 days, and the distance of 137,000 km, will be remembered as the one that covers the longest distance and the widest geographical expanse, and that involves the largest number of participants in the history of the modern Olympic Movement.
The Torch Relay is an Olympic symbol of peace, brotherhood and enlightenment and represents a summons to the Olympic Games.
Carl Diem, an Olympic historian and philosopher, initiated the first modern-day Olympic Torch Relay for the Berlin 1936 Olympic Summer Games.
last updated: 03/04/2008 at 16:05
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