Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham to host Olympic torch before 2012 Games

The Olympic torch relay will stop in Birmingham as it makes its way around the UK ahead of the 2012 Games.

Its arrival on 30 June 2012 will be marked by an evening of celebrations.

The chair of the West Midlands Leadership Group for the 2012 Games David Moorcroft said hundreds from the region will hold the torch.

Deals over Birmingham hosting the US and Jamaican track and field teams were worth about £20m to the city's economy, the council said.

The 160-strong US track and field team will train in and around the city.

The 60 members of the Jamaican track and field team, including the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, will be based in Birmingham.

'Out in force'

Moorcroft said: "There are 8,000 people around the country who'll have the honour of holding the torch. Hundreds of those will come from the West Midlands.

"All of them will have to be nominated because of their involvement in the community."

Council sports chief Martin Mullaney, believes the people of Birmingham will be "out in force" to celebrate the torch's arrival in the city.

"Across the world, the flame is the most recognisable symbol of the modern Games," he said.

"Now we can get in the mood for what I know will be an unforgettable Olympic Games."

For an Olympic legacy, the council points to improvements to the Alexander Stadium for athletics, which has attracted the prestigious Samsung Diamond League to the city for the next three years.

And the Jamaican Training Camp Legacy Exchange Programme offers opportunities for schools in Jamaica and Birmingham to learn from each other.

It had been hoped a further legacy would be a 50m swimming pool in the Ladywood area.

But recent funding cuts mean the scheme has not gone beyond the planning stage.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites