Olympic torch relay: Jet pack man carries flame in Leicester

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Media captionJet Pack Man - aka Nick Macomber - took to the air outside the National Space Centre

The Olympic flame was carried into the sky by jet pack at the start of day 46 of the torch relay, which involved journeys by road, sea and train.

Stuntman Nick Macomber lifted off using a jet pack before handing the flame to Kevin Davies at the start of the day's route from Leicester to Peterborough.

Ex-Leicester and England footballer Gary Lineker and a 50-goal female striker were among the torchbearers.

A total of 100 people carried the flame on the 78-mile route.

In a special intergalactic-themed community event, Tuesday's relay began amid scenes reminiscent of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics when Mr Macomber took off with the torch strapped to his body.

The 23-year-old, who is originally from Alaska but now lives in San Diego, has been flying for a year and has just over 100 flights to his name.

Once back on the ground he passed the flame to Mr Davies, who was nominated for his determination to carry on with his life after he became a tetraplegic following a motorbike accident in 2008.

The relay included two train journeys and a boat trip as well as visits to the Sir Dennis Rooke Building at Loughborough University, Burghley House and the Cathedral Gardens in Peterborough.

Railway adventure

Lineker was among the day's early runners, carrying the torch in his home city of Leicester. England's second-highest goalscorer - 48 goals in 80 appearances - started his career at Leicester City.

He will be one of the BBC's prime time presenters of Olympic Games coverage between 27 July and 12 August.

Before his leg, he said on Twitter: "It's the sort of dank, miserable, grey morning that requires a torch to see where you're going.

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Media captionGary Lineker carries flame in Leicester

"Now where can I get one of those?"

Afterwards, he said: "Back home. In need of a nap. 300 yards was never my distance. Wiped out."

The flame left Leicester by train, travelling to Quorn on the Great Central Railway the UK's only double-track, mainline heritage railway.

In Quorn, the flame was carried by Baroness Sue Campbell, who chairs the Youth Sport Trust, an independent charity devoted to changing young people's lives through sport.

There was a visit, appropriately, to Loughborough University - the UK's top sports education institution - where torchbearer Audrey Cooper, who represented GB in the inaugural Olympic beach volleyball tournament in the Atlanta 1996 Games, was greeted by members of the current Team GB.

Ms Cooper has also coached the GB women's indoor volleyball team and will be supporting them to compete in the London 2012 Games. She works for Volleyball England as the Community Development Coach Manager.

Also in Loughborough, the flame was carried by Paralympic athlete Richard Whitehead, who holds the world record for athletes with a double amputation, in both the full and half-marathon. He will compete for GB at London 2012.

Burghley House

In challenging, somewhat stormy, conditions during the afternoon, the flame was carried on a boat travelling across Rutland Water from Whitwell Harbour.

Torchbearer Matthew Usher passed the flame to Stephen King while each was on a separate boat - the only 'torch kiss' due to take place on water during the entire relay.

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Media captionCrowds lined Peterborough embankment to see the torch on its way to the cauldron

The torch then became guest of honour at Burghley House, which is regarded as one of the finest Elizabethan houses in the country and is the home of the Cecil family.

At the front of the house the flame was passed between torchbearers Dave Thompson and Sue Probst in the presence of Miranda Rock, the granddaughter of former Olympic hurdler David Cecil (Lord Burghley) who won a gold medal at the 1928 Games, and London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe.

The flame then took its second train journey of the day when it was loaded on to the Nene Valley Railway - a steam engine and diesel locomotive heritage attraction - at Stamford, in Lincolnshire.

When it arrived in Peterborough, it was carried by 87-year-old John Peake, who won a hockey silver medal playing for Great Britain at the 1948 Olympics in London.

The final torchbearer of the day, Natasha Applegate, carried the flame into the evening celebrations on the River Embankment site in the city. Natasha was selected for her dedication to playing and coaching football.

A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame during its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on 27 July.

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