Olympic flame will be lit by sun’s rays in Greece

THE sun’s rays will light the Olympic flame on May 10 when it begins its long journey from Greece to England.

An hour-long lighting ceremony at the Temple of Hera in Olympia will launch an eight-day relay around Greece before the flame reaches British shores, starting in Cornwall.

The flame, which can burn safely for up to 30 hours, is set to arrive at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on May 17 where a representative from London 2012 will be in attendance for the official handover.

Lord Coe, the London 2012 chairman, said: “It gives me great pleasure to confirm 10 May as the flame lighting date and Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose as the Olympic Flame’s arrival point into the UK.

“My team is looking forward to working with the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Defence and our commercial partners to create exciting events to mark the flame’s Greek provenance and its arrival to our shores.”

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Once in Britain, the flame will go around the country on a 70-day relay, between May 19 to July 27, ending with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony.

The Greek leg of the torch relay will display the beauty and history of the Greek mainland and islands to the world, according to London 2012.

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The second torchbearer on the first day and the penultimate torchbearer on the last day of the Greek leg have been handpicked by London 2012, who are remaining tight-lipped on their names.

The flame will then be guest of honour on a gold-liveried Airbus 319, flight number BA2012, as it makes its way from Greece to England.

It will travel in a ceremonial lantern that, secured in a specially designed cradle, is firmly fixed to its seat on the plane, using a secure holding device.

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