Olympic torch relay: Band Muse carry flame in home town
- 20 May 2012
- From the section UK
Thousands of people turned out to see rock band Muse carry the Olympic flame in their Devon home town.
Police limited crowds to 7,000 as the trio ran over Shaldon Bridge into Teignmouth with the torch, on day two of the 70-day relay.
Dominic Howard, Matt Bellamy and Christopher Wolstenholme grinned and waved as they ran with it.
Over the day 121 individuals, nominated for their achievements, helped carry the torch from Plymouth to Exeter .
Athletes Hicham El Guerrouj and local rugby player Garnet Mackinder took the flame in Exeter before evening celebrations near the city's cathedral.
Moroccan former middle distance runner El Guerrouj, whose 1,500m world record has stood since 1998, ran a leisurely 300m in the city, the same distance as all torchbearers.
Another Olympian was a veteran of the 1948 Games, Paul Bircher, 83, who was helped along by one of the Metropolitan Police Torch Security Team during his stint carrying the flame in Paignton.
An eyewitness said: "The crowd could see he was struggling and were completely behind him, willing him along every step.
"It was very poignant movement to see a medal winner from the last London Olympics carry the torch for this year's Games."
Mr Bircher, is a former rower who was a member of the 1948 Great Britain Team.
The relay started just after 08:00BST, heading along the coast and passing through the towns of Modbury and Dartmouth.
The flame also returned to Torre Abbey, which it visited in 1948 when Torquay was the Olympic sailing venue.
Flags and bunting
Crowds gathered at Plymouth Life Centre where the first torch was lit for the second day of the relay.
Taking the flame on the first leg of its 88.45 mile journey was Jordan Anderton, 18, from Ivybridge.
Wearing the number 001 he said: "It is such a great honour to have the opportunity to carry the Olympic torch and be a part of history.
"It feels unreal really as I was watching it on TV yesterday and I'm here today in front of all the crowds."
Meanwhile the last runner in Plymouth, Mark Ormrod, was given a special cheer from the crowd.
He lost both legs and an arm on active service with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan.
Mr Ormrod, 28, who now works for the Royal Marines Association, said: "It is a humbling experience and hopefully I'll do Plymouth and England proud."
The streets, some decked out in flags and bunting, were packed as the runners passed through villages and towns along the route.
As the torch passed through Yealmpton, Becky Martin said: "It's brilliant. The crowd is going ballistic."
A torch used on day one of the relay appeared for sale on eBay by lunchtime on Saturday, prompting criticism on social media platforms and calls for action to be taken to stop such sales.
And at 11:00 BST on Sunday bids for a torch, which the seller claimed would be used in the relay on Monday, had reached £6,100.
A London 2012 spokesperson said: "The torch and uniform are the torchbearer's to do what they want with, we hope they find a good home."
After making its way past a packed waterfront in Dartmouth the flame was carried to the naval college where cadets had lined up to welcome it.
A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame on its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on 27 July.
It is being borne by members of the public, young and old, who were nominated for their achievements, sporting contributions and community work.
Olympians and other VIPs will also carry the torch.
Each of the torchbearers runs with the flame for about 300m before lighting the next bearer's torch in a "kiss".
Officers from the Torch Security Team, co-ordinated by the Metropolitan Police, are accompanying the runners throughout the relay.
Large crowds gathered on Saturday to see the first day's relay through Cornwall.
Triple Olympic gold medallist sailor Ben Ainslie was the first to carry the flame at Land's End.
It passed through towns and countryside and visited the Eden Project, where it took a ride in a balloon in the rainforest biome.
The relay then crossed into Devon and ended its first day with an evening celebration on Plymouth Hoe. Devon and Cornwall Police said about 55,000 people enjoyed the Olympic torch celebrations in the city.