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A flame to light up Olympics

SHOWCASE: Seb Coe, Paralympians David Roberts, Aileen McGlynn and Danny Crates and children from the Get Set network at the announcement of the Paralympic Torch Relay.

THE LONDON Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) have announced plans for the Paralympic Torch Relay to lead the UK into the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Games on the evening of August 29 2012.

Presented by BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay will showcase the very best of teamwork by shining a light on those who have worked together to reach a collective goal and the amazing feats that have been achieved as a result of individuals combining their skills and abilities.

Building on the traditional Torch Relay format, the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay programme will begin on August 24 with the first flame lighting event to be held in London. Over the Bank Holiday weekend, Greater Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff will each host a flame lighting moment and an evening Paralympic Flame Festival.

Each of the four flames will be lit by the energy of physical human endeavour, with each place creating its unique method of lighting. The flame lighting method for each nation will be announced closer to the time of the Paralympic Torch Relay next year.

Once a flame has been lit, it will visit local community groups and key locations in and around the city. In each nation, there will be a Paralympic Flame Festival, the last of which takes place in Stoke Mandeville, home of the Paralympic Movement where a special ceremony will be held to bring together all four flames to create the Paralympic Flame.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport said: “The Paralympic Games next summer is our chance to change people’s attitudes towards disability. The Torch Relay will take the Paralympics to each home nation helping to build excitement for the Games and awareness of disability sport. This is our chance to welcome home the Paralympic Movement.”

In addition to the lighting events there will be a series of evening celebrations called Flame Festivals. In preparation for these Flame Festivals, lantern making workshops will be held on that day and earlier in the summer.

People from all communities can participate in the Flame Festival lantern procession accompanied by specially selected Torchbearers. The Flame Festivals are public events staged by LOCOG with the assistance of the host local authority and will include flame-themed entertainment to be programmed by LOCOG and the Presenting Partners.

The four flames will be combined at the special ceremony at Stoke Mandeville on August 28 to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame. Later that evening, there will be a 24 hour Torch Relay from Stoke Mandeville to journey the Paralympic Flame to London for the opening of the Paralympic Games.

580 Torchbearers working in teams of five will carry the Paralympic Flame towards the Olympic Stadium to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Details about how torchbearers will be selected are to be announced at a later date.

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