The Olympic torch will travel by some unconventional methods in its 70-day voyage though the UK prior to the London Summer 2012 games, including a ride on a zip line, in helium balloon, and in a motorcycle sidecar.
The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) have just released details of the journey, which will see the torch pass through more than 1,000 communities in the UK. The flame route has been designed so that 95 percent of the population will be within 10 miles of the torch.
I'm delighted that the Olympic Torch Relay will take the 2012 Games to almost every corner of the UK and that we have achieved our ambition to take the Flame to within an hour's journey of 95% of the population, Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said in press release. Now everyone is invited to plan their welcome and find out where they can go to be part of this historic occasion. The Olympic Games are coming to you as the Olympic Flame gives our people and places their moment to shine.
The torch will begin its journey on May 19 in Land's End, a small town in extreme west of England. That same day, the torch will take its first adventurous ride in a helium balloon. The quick ride will take the torch to the top of the Eden Project rainforest biome. This unused mine turned lush forest won the British Travel Award in 2011.
That's not the only ride in store for the torch. It will zip line across the Tyne Bridge, trek to the top of Mount Snowdon by train, race in the sidecar of a motorcycle in Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy), and paddle across Windermere in a steamship.
The torch will not only pass through towns and cities, but also highlight landmarks, such as Loch Ness, Stonehenge, and Stormont.
The Flame's journey is steeped in the rich history of the Olympic Games, travelling from Athens then right around the UK, said Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. I encourage everyone to get out and take part in the excitement of the Torch Relay as it comes through their town.
In the final leg of the voyage, the torch will travel down the River Thames and into the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony. This will mark the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby designed the torch with 8,000 small circles, to represent the 8,000 local leaders carrying the torch. Any person doing extraordinary things in their community can be nominated as a torch bearer. Half of those selected as local heroes will be between the ages of 12 and 24. Selected local leaders will work with their town, no matter the size, to create their own personal leg of the relay. Each torchbearer will carry it about 300 yards, while the rest will be traveled by car.