In a break from tradition, London 2012 has created a unique identity for the Paralympic Torch Relay. It starts on Wednesday 22 August when four National Flames will be created in the four home nations – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
These four flames will ultimately be united to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
The public are invited to light a lantern to lead the way to the Paralympic Games, by attending one of many events across the UK and supporting the Torchbearers during the 24 hour Torch Relay from Stoke Mandeville to London.
Creating the National Flames
Using a combination of teamwork and human endeavour, groups of disabled and non-disabled Scouts will ascend the highest peaks of the four home nations: Scafell Pike (England), Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa (Wales), Ben Nevis (Scotland) and Slieve Donard (Northern Ireland). At the summits, using the traditional technique of rubbing flint together they will create sparks to kindle a Flame.
These Flames will then be placed in miner’s lanterns and transferred to the nation’s capital cities. On consecutive mornings from 24-27 August a ceremonial cauldron will be lit in each capital city and the National Flame will become the focus for a day of Paralympic celebrations. Friday 24 August – Trafalgar Square, London; Saturday 25 August – Stormont, Belfast; Sunday 26 August – The Mound, Edinburgh; Monday 27 August – City Hall, Cardiff.
A series of evening celebrations, called Flame Festivals, will encourage people to come along and show their support for the Paralympic Torch Relay and the forthcoming Paralympic Games. The dates of the Festivals are:
The Flame Festivals are public events staged by LOCOG with the assistance of the host Local Authority and will include plenty of activities and entertainment. The Flame Festivals will conclude with young children from each capital city forming a guard of honour with lanterns that they have made as part of the ‘Light a Lantern’ campaign. Eight Torchbearers will carry the National Flame through the guard of honour and the final Torchbearer will light the ceremonial cauldron on stage.
Each Flame will then be taken direct to Stoke Mandeville, home of the Paralympic Movement, where the four National Flames will be combined at a Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony on 28 August to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
Paralympic Torch Relay
Following the Flame Lighting Ceremony there will be a 24-hour Torch Relay from Stoke Mandeville to London. Torchbearers working in teams of five will carry the Paralympic Flame to the Olympic Stadium to light the Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The following 36 communities across the UK will host a Flame Celebration Event over the August Bank Holiday weekend – these are in addition to the Flame Festivals and allow local communities to celebrate the Paralympic Torch Relay in their own way.
East of England