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Olympic torch: Relay to visit Edinburgh Castle

Category: Scotland

Published: 12th Jun 2012 18:40:44

The Olympic flame will visit three of Scotland's most iconic places when it travels from St Andrews to Edinburgh on day 26 of the torch relay.

Wednesday's 145-mile journey will include visits to Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument and Edinburgh Castle.

Among the day's 115 torchbearers will be record-breaking Scottish long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont and American singer John Legend.

An evening celebration will take place at Edinburgh Castle.

The castle dominates the skyline of the Scottish capital, standing atop of Castle Rock at the head of the Old Town, and its site has been inhabited by humans since 900 BC.

In the Middle Ages Edinburgh became Scotland's chief royal castle. Its history includes many sieges, including during the Wars of Independence, and the birth of Mary Queen of Scots' son James VI - who ascended to the throne of England, consequently leading to the Union of the Crowns.

In 1996 the Stone of Destiny, Scotland's coronation stone, was placed in the Crown Room alongside the nation's Crown Jewels.

The Olympic flame will be carried at the castle by Lesley Forrest, who received a kidney transplant in 1996 and a year later started competing in the British Transplant Games. She has since won multiple medals in both British and World Transplant Games and been made an MBE.

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The first torchbearer of the day will be Mr Beaumont, a Perthshire-born cyclist who broke the record for cycling around the world between August 2007 and February 2008. In 194 days he travelled 18,296 miles through 20 countries, finishing at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

After travelling through St Andrews, the home of golf and Scotland's oldest university, the flame will take in Kinross, Alloa, Dunblane, Stirling, Falkirk, Dunfermline before reaching Edinburgh at about 17:45 BST.

Along the way, there will be a visit to Stirling Castle, a symbol of Scottish independence with a long and turbulent history associated with great figures from Scotland's past such as Mary Queen of Scots and Sir William Wallace, who was the Guardian of Scotland.

Wallace's statue stands outside the city of Stirling, overlooking the scene of Scotland's victory at The Battle of Stirling Bridge.

The torch will also visit the Falkirk Wheel, the world's first and only rotating boat lift, before travelling across the Forth Road Bridge at about 16:00 and then taking in the picturesque Hopetoun House.

Among the torchbearers helping the flame on its journey will be Mr Legend - a singer-songwriter who has won nine Grammys - and Scottish former ice dancer John Kerr.

The last torchbearer of the day, Ms Forrest will light a celebration cauldron on stage at Edinburgh Castle at the evening's celebratory event, which will include performances by Scottish singer Emeli Sande.

A total of 8,000 people will carry the flame during its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on 27 July.

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BBC News, 2012. Olympic torch: Relay to visit Edinburgh Castle [Online] (Updated 12th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1434200/Olympic-torch-Relay-to-visit-Edinburgh-Castle [Accessed 21st Aug 2014]

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