• Olympic Flame to be lit in Olympia, Greece on 10 May
• 8 day relay around Greek mainland and islands from 10 May to 17 May
• Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony to be held at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on 17 May
• Olympic Flame arrives into Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall on 18 May on board British Airways flight ‘BA2012’
Organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), the Olympic Flame will be lit mid-morning (BST) on 10 May using the sun's rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, in a traditional hour-long ceremony among the historic ruins of the home of the ancient Games.
From the Lighting Ceremony in Olympia, the HOC will take the Olympic Flame on an 8-day relay around Greece before arriving at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on 17 May for the official Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony. During an early evening (BST) hour-long ceremony, the Olympic Flame will be handed over to a London 2012 representative.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to confirm 10 May as the Flame lighting date and RNAS 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.’
The Greek leg of the Torch Relay will showcase the beauty and history of the Greek mainland and islands to the world. The second Torchbearer on the first day and the penultimate Torchbearer on the last day of the Greek leg will be chosen by London 2012. Both Torchbearers will be inspirational people from the UK and their names will be confirmed nearer the time.
British Airways, the official airline partner of the London 2012 Games and Supporter of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, will carry the Olympic Flame on board flight ‘BA2012’ - a gold-liveried aircraft from Athens into the UK on 18 May. The specially chartered Airbus 319 will also transport the official delegation of UK representatives to and from the Athens Handover Ceremony.
As the Olympic Flame is classified as a symbolic flame it is permitted to be carried on board an aircraft subject to special authorisation from the Civil Aviation Authority. The Flame will travel in a ceremonial lantern that is secured in a specially designed cradle which is, in turn, firmly fixed to its seat on the plane using a secure holding device. The lantern is designed so the Olympic Flame can burn safely for up to 30 hours.
The Flame will arrive into the UK at RNAS Culdrose, near Helston in Cornwall early evening (BST) of 18 May. In addition to being close to the start point of the Torch Relay at Land’s End, the arrival at RNAS Culdrose acknowledges the vital contribution that maritime and coastal search and rescue services undertake for our island nation. RNAS Culdrose, home to most of the Navy’s Merlin and Sea King helicopter squadrons that are supporting operations around the world, also offers a beautiful Cornish setting in which an estimated 1000 guests, media and members of the local community are expected to welcome the Olympic Flame.
Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said: ‘I am delighted that Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose will be the first to welcome the Olympic Flame into the UK. It is a fantastic opportunity for the Armed Forces to be involved in such a unique event, and one they can take pride in for years to come.’
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Jeremy Hunt said: ‘When BA2012 touches down in Cornwall carrying the Olympic torch it will be a hugely exciting moment. This kicks off our incredible Torch Relay right around the country and I’m sure the torch will spread ‘Olympic fever’ everywhere it goes.’
Captain Willie Entwisle, Commanding Officer of Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, said: ‘We are honoured that the Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK by landing at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose. Our personnel, many of whom are currently supporting the Royal Navy on operations across the globe, are very excited that the build up to the London 2012 Olympic Games will start here. We are delighted to be playing such an important part in this once-in-a-lifetime event.’
On the morning of 19 May the Olympic Flame will then travel from RNAS Culdrose to Land’s End ready for the start of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. The Olympic Flame will travel 8,000 miles across the UK to within 10 miles of 95% of the population. 8,000 Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame for approximately 300 metres each, passing the Olympic Flame from torch to torch until it reaches the Olympic Stadium on the eve of 27 July.
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For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 100 or visit the website at www.london2012.com. Find out the latest from London 2012 HQ on our blog http://blog.london2012.com or follow us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/london2012
Notes to editors
For more information on the communities through which Torchbearers will carry the London 2012 Olympic Flame, go to www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay
RNAS Culdrose is an Air Station and a training establishment which provides vital maritime helicopters to support Royal Navy operations across the Globe. Home to most of the Navy’s Merlin and Sea King helicopter Squadrons, Culdrose is supporting operations across the Globe in the war against terrorism, participating in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions, protecting oil rigs and trade routes and playing a key part in the Royal Navy’s anti-drugs and anti-piracy operations. In the UK, Trainee Aircrew, Engineers, Air Traffic Controllers, Fire-fighters and Flight Deck crews all undergo intensive training prior to joining Naval Air Squadrons for duties at sea. Additionally, Culdrose has a ‘Search and Rescue’ Squadron which is on constant standby 365-days a year, ready to react to emergencies throughout the Southwest over land and sea.
About the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners
As the longest standing Presenting Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola will be using its heritage and experience to spread excitement across the UK ahead of London 2012. Coca-Cola's national nomination campaign - Future Flames – has focused on finding inspirational young people from across the country to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame. Next summer Coca-Cola will celebrate these Future Flames: young people who use their passions in areas like sport and physical activity, music and dance, and community and the environment; to spread happiness in their local communities. Find out more at: www.coca-cola.co.uk/olympic-games
As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB will be taking the spirit and inspiration of the Olympic Flame right to the heart of communities across the UK. As part of Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland will be the National Presenting Partner in Scotland. Schools can be right at the heart of the celebrations through our Flame Followers programme, giving them access to free resources to get their pupils inspired and excited about the Olympic Torch Relay, and the chance for their school to carry the Olympic Flame, win a celebration party at their school during the Relay and win a Cheer Kit to welcome the Relay to their community (schools can register at www.lloydstsb.com/flamefollowers). Customers can be the first to hear how they can follow the Olympic Flame, through our customer-exclusive programme Trackside. Find out more at www.lloydstsb.com/london2012
As a Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Samsung is providing national and international Olympic Torchbearers through its worldwide public nomination process. These ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunities to carry the Olympic Flame on its journey around the UK, represents one of the many ways that Samsung is enabling people from all corners of the world to be part of the greatest show on Earth. Becoming an Olympic Torchbearer thanks to Samsung means everyone can become a part of the Olympic history. From June 13th 2011, Samsung has invited the world to recognise its unsung heroes. Samsung’s nomination programme for Olympic Torchbearers is a worldwide search for these unique and selfless individuals. The campaign has been communicated globally via a wide range of marketing channels to ensure that the maximum number of people become aware of the opportunity. It is Samsung’s ambition that London 2012 will be an event that reaches and involves more people than on any other Olympic Games occasion. To learn more about the Samsung nomination programme, please visit www.samsung.com/london2012
The Supporters of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay are:
Worldwide Olympic Partners Procter and Gamble and Visa, Tier One Partners adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT and EDF, Tier Three Providers Aggreko, Holiday Inn and NATURE VALLEY.
London 2012 Games partners
The Worldwide Olympic Partners who support the London 2012 Olympic Games and the National Olympic Committees around the world are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow Chemical Company, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.
LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS.
There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.
There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games-only Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Games-only Supplier, Otto Bock. The London 2012 Paralympic Games also acknowledges the support of the National Lottery.