City to bask in ‘Olympic Spirit’ ahead of games
THE iconic Olympic flame will light up Birmingham next summer after the city was today selected as a host destination for The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
As the city prepares to host the USA and Jamaican training camps, the Olympic Games countdown will get underway on Saturday June 30 2012 with a celebration of the city’s culture, sport and heritage, to be hosted in Victoria Square.
Birmingham is one of 66 Evening Celebration locations across the UK confirmed today by the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
The evening events will offer thousands of people the opportunity to come together and get involved in celebrations and share in the Olympic spirit.
As part of the events LOCOG and the Presenting Partners, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, will stage exciting entertainment shows where a cauldron will be lit from the Olympic Flame, marking the end of the day’s proceedings.
The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday 18 May 2012 and the 70 day Torch Relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of the 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK, giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to their doorstep. The Olympic Flame will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Cllr Martin Mullaney, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “The Torch Relay is the curtain raiser to what we know will be a huge and spectacular sporting event, so I’m proud that Birmingham has been selected as an overnight stay for the Olympic flame.
“Across the world, the flame is the most recognisable symbol of the modern Games and I’m sure the people of Birmingham will be out in force to celebrate its arrival in our city.
“We’re looking forward to hosting training camps for the USA and Jamaica. Now we can get in the mood for what I know will be an unforgettable Olympic Games by welcoming the Olympic flame to Britain’s Sporting City.”
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “We are thrilled that Birmingham City Council has agreed to host the Olympic Flame on its journey right across the UK. The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across Birmingham, celebrating the culture and heritage of the area and showcasing the very best of the city.
“We have no doubt that the welcome Birmingham 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.”