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By Rose Odjidja on 20.5.2023

Olympic Torch Begins 70-Day Journey Around the UK

The Olympic torch began its journey to Olympia on Saturday in Land’s End after its arrival in the UK on Friday.

Arriving at a Royal Naval air station in Cornwall, the flame was greeted by members of the public, the armed forces and dignitaries, as it was carried off the plane by Princess Anne. The flame, which was flown from Athens, Greece, was contained in a special transportation lantern, before it was transferred to a London 2012 torch. The footballer David Beckham then used the torch to light a cauldron, as a symbol of the flame’s arrival on UK soil.

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who also attended, spoke of the significance of the event; “With every step, the excitement will build. Ten weeks from now, the world will watch as the flame arrives at the Olympic Stadium, bringing with it the hopes of a nation.”

After the welcoming ceremony on Friday, the torch was flown 25 miles to Land’s End on Saturday morning, where it began its official journey. The first of the 8,000 torchbearers who will carry the flame, was triple Olympic gold medal winning sailor, Ben Ainslie, who called the torch’s arrival a “fantastic moment”.

The torch will cover 8,000 miles on its 70-day trip, and travel through 1,019 cities, towns and villages, including Bangor and St Andrews. It will pass through Canterbury on the 19th July, before it arrives in Stratford London on the 27th July for the Games’ Opening Ceremony.

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