Peterborough and Cambridge on Olympic torch relay route

Steve Redgrave carrying the Olympic torch
Image caption Steve Redgrave was one of the Olympic torchbearers for the Beijing games in 2008

The Olympic torch will come to both Peterborough and Cambridge on its 70-day tour of the UK in 2012.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) has announced the overnight stops on the route.

On Tuesday 3 July, it will arrive in Peterborough. The city will host a welcoming celebration in the evening.

The torch will take centre stage at Cambridge's Big Weekend event when it comes to the city on Saturday, 7 July.

The Olympic torch will be lit by the sun's rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece. It is set to arrive in the UK on 18 May 2012 after which 8,000 torchbearers will carry it on a relay tour around the country.

Organisers said the route was planned to ensure that the torch would come within a one-hour journey time for 95% of the population.

Councillor Marco Cereste, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: "We are delighted that Peterborough has been chosen as one of the locations to host a leg of the Olympic torch relay in 2012.

"We are already making plans for an event which will celebrate the flame coming to the city, and we hope that as many people as possible will get involved.

"Being chosen as one of the cities to host the relay is a great recognition for Peterborough and is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase what the city has to offer."

Councillor Martin Curtis, who chairs Cambridgeshire County Council's 2012 Olympics member panel, said he was also delighted that the torch would be coming to Cambridge.

'Reaching out'

He said: "The Olympic flame coming to the county feels like a dream come true.

"As well as celebrating our unique sporting and cultural heritage through the 2012 Games, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to inspire everyone in the county, young and old, to get involved in sport and the arts, volunteer, whatever it may be, through the magic of the Games."

Councillor Sian Reid, leader of Cambridge City Council added: "I am delighted that Cambridge will host the Olympic flame.

"The city's rich history of sporting and cultural excellence makes it the perfect location for a memorable Olympic celebration.

"Cambridge already offers a wonderful array of sporting and cultural activities. Now we have the chance to harness the spirit of the Olympics to encourage even more people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities to get involved from across the region."

The arrival of the torch coincides with the city's annual Big Weekend event. In 2012 the free three-day music and entertainment festival will take the Olympics as its theme, with the torch being the focal point.

Sebastian Coe, chairman of Locog, said: "We have no doubt that the welcome Cambridgeshire will provide will demonstrate how the spirit of the Olympic Games is reaching out across the UK and excitement builds as the start of the 2012 Games draws closer."

A full list of all the places the Olympic torch will pass through will be published next year.

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