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London 2012: Paralympic torch unveiled on landmark day

Category: England

Published: 29th Feb 2012 10:20:30

With six months to go to the start of the Paralympics, London 2012 organisers have revealed the design for the torch.

The torch has been given a mirrored finish so its colour adapts to its surroundings and also shines at night on the final stage of the torch relay.

Locog has also announced that 33 communities around the UK will stage flame celebrations during the relay which takes place later this year.

Flame lighting events are to be held on consecutive days in each UK capitals.

The events start in London on 24 August with the four flames uniting at a special ceremony in Stoke Mandeville, home of the Paralympic movement, on 28 August.

The relay will then begin its 24-hour journey to London's opening ceremony.

The flame will be carried from the Stoke Mandeville Stadium by 580 torchbearers, working in teams of five, to the Olympic Stadium where the cauldron will be lit to herald the start of the Games on the evening of 29 August.

Dame Tanni-Grey Thompson revealed the torch on BBC Breakfast and said: "When the flame is lit it's very sparkly and it will pick up a lot of light It is also very light so it can be easily carried.

"Also what's different is how our flame is lit. We are currently working out different ways of doing it and the power of human endeavour will start it off.

"There's a huge amount of pressure on the athletes. We are in a really good place and it is going to be the best Paralympic Games we have ever seen. I think we do very well by having the Games afterwards and the uniqueness of our own torch relay is also important."

The torch was created by London-based designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby who said it was driven by a desire to reflect modernity and innovation.

It is made from an aluminium alloy - light while being strong and heat resistant.

Cutting-edge laser technology has been used to create thousands of round perforations which will help ensure that heat from the flame is quickly dissipated without being conducted down the handle.

The holes also make the torch lighter and give it a strong texture that is easy to grip.

The colour of the mirrored-finish should mean that the teams of torchbearers will not be lost in the darkness.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said: "With six months to go we are on track to deliver a great Games that will showcase some of the most inspirational athletes from around the world.

"The torch relay will provide the perfect start by involving people from across the UK in events celebrating the flame and help to ignite passion for the Paralympics."

A flame lighting event in London will kick off the relay before Belfast stages the second lighting event and the first of the four evening Flame Festivals on 25 August.

Edinburgh on 26 August and Cardiff on 27 August will be the next two host cities before the four flames come together in Stoke Mandeville the following day, where they will be combined to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame..

The English communities which have been chosen to host flame celebrations will send representatives to the opening event in London.

Once there they will each collect part of the flame in a lantern and transport it back to their home towns to be used at their individual events.

National representatives will attend the lighting ceremonies in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff and take part of the flame from their respective capital.

Flame celebrations will be staged in the following places:

ENGLAND North East: Beamish. North West: Manchester, Preston, Merseyside, Cheshire. East: Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire. East Midlands: Leicester. West Midlands: Hereford, Coventry, Trentham Lake, Cannock. South East: Horsham, Aylesbury. South West: Bath, Plymouth, Weymouth & Portland. Yorkshire: Leeds, York, Sheffield, Beverley, Huddersfield.

WALES Conwy.

SCOTLAND Glasgow.

NORTHERN IRELAND Cookstown, Ballymena, Derry, Newry and Mourne, Carrickfergus.

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BBC News, 2012. London 2012: Paralympic torch unveiled on landmark day [Online] (Updated 29th Feb 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1414857/London-2012-Paralympic-torch-unveiled-on-landmark-day [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

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