01/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 23:03

Olympic torch: Lewis Hamilton to start torch relay

Category: England

Published: 8th Jul 2012 20:24:42

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is due to start day 52 of the Olympic flame relay as it travels the 112 miles from Luton to Oxford.

The former world champion will be the first of 133 torchbearers when he sets off in St Georges Square in Luton.

Monday's relay begins just after 06:30 BST and visits the birthplace of the Paralympic Games, Stoke Mandeville, Blenheim Palace and Bletchley Park.

Also carrying the flame is Olympic badminton silver medallist Gail Emms.

Emms, who will carry the flame in Milton Keynes, was runner-up in the mixed doubles with Nathan Robertson in the 2004 Games in Athens. She won gold medals at the 2006 World Championships in Madrid, 2004 European Championships in Geneva and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Hamilton was initially asked to carry the torch through his home town of Stevenage, but plans were changed as the flame was there while he was competing in Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, in which he finished eighth.

Jessica Stalley from Bedford, will take the flame into Bletchley Park.

The 16-year-old was nominated for the way she coped with having an operation to straighten her spine and for her aspirations to compete in the Paralympics.

Bletchley Park was the site of Britain's main decryption centre during World War Two and is now home to the National Codes Centre and the National Museum of Computing.

Gemma Collis, 17, from Aylesbury, will carry her torch at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury.

Stoke Mandeville Hospital was the site where pioneering neurologist Professor Sir Ludwig Guttmann staged the forerunner of the Paralympic Games in 1948 - the International Wheelchair Games. The Games were repeated at Stoke Mandeville four years later before the first official Paralympics took place in Rome in 1960.

There will be a separate Paralympic lighting ceremony at the site in Aylesbury, as part of the Paralympic Torch Relay on 28 August.

During the first part of the morning, youth Olympic rowing gold medallist Georgia Howard-Merrill will carry the flame in Milton Keynes. Oxford-based Howard-Merrill won the medal at the first Youth Olympic Games in the Women's Pairs in Singapore in 2010.

Also among Monday's torchbearers is 16-year-old Rebekah Wagnell who won three silver and two gold medals for swimming in the 18th World Transplant Games in 2011. The Milton Keynes teenager was born with chronic renal failure and received a kidney transplant from her father five years ago.

Archer Naomi Folkard, who is competing for Team GB in the Olympics, will carry the flame in Oxford.

After leaving Luton, the flame is due to visit Dunstable, Milton Keynes, Bletchley, Buckingham, Winslow, Whitchurch, Aylesbury, Stoke Mandeville, Waddesdon, Bicester, Kirtlington, Woodstock, Kidlington and Oxford.

Search maps, check street routes and join in 70 days of live coverage in video, stories and pictures

A game of Quidditch, made famous by the Harry Potter stories, is being played in Oxford ahead of the arrival of the flame. Teams from Australia, France and the US are taking part in the two-day tournament.

The final of the event is part of relay celebrations in South Park on Monday where rockers Young Guns and dance act Twist & Pulse will perform.

There will also be a performance of Tree of Light, which is part of the London 2012 Festival featuring 850 participants - including singers, dancers and power-generating cyclists - from school and community groups across Oxfordshire.

The cauldron will be lit by the final torchbearer of the day, former teacher Malcolm Fretter. He has been a paraplegic since 1971 but volunteers at White Horse primary schools. He is also secretary of Oxfordshire Schools' Football Association.

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.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Olympic torch: Lewis Hamilton to start torch relay [Online] (Updated 8th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1439367/Olympic-torch-Lewis-Hamilton-to-start-torch-relay [Accessed 1st Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Argentina default: Judge Griesa urges new negotiations

    Negotiations between Argentina and its creditors should be resumed urgently, US judge Thomas Griesa has said.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • Argentina default: Judge Griesa urges new negotiations

    Negotiations between Argentina and its creditors should be resumed urgently, US judge Thomas Griesa has said.
  • Barry gardener's leg surgery after false widow spider bite

    A gardener says he feared losing his leg after being bitten by a false widow spider hiding in a Vale of Glamorgan shed.
  • Boy jailed for 'brain injury' rape in Luton

    A 16-year-old boy who beat and raped his ex-girlfriend in a park in Luton, leaving her with the mental age of an eight year old, has been given a discretionary life sentence.
  • New ENO music director pledges to take risks despite cuts

    The incoming music director of the English National Opera (ENO) has said the company will keep taking risks in spite of funding cuts.