‘Flame will ignite passion for London 2012,’ says Mayor
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will head to Greece today along with a top flight UK delegation for the official handover of the Olympic flame at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens.
As the countdown towards London 2012 now gets firmly underway, the Mayor has heralded what will not only be the best Olympic and Paralympic Games ever, but a lasting legacy that will spur jobs and economic growth for years to come.
The Mayor will join Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe and Olympics Minster Hugh Robertson during a visit which will see the Olympic flame ‘laid to rest’ at the Acropolis on Wednesday evening and handed over to London at the Panathenaic Stadium on Thursday evening.
After the handover ceremony the Mayor will attend a reception organised by the UK Ambassador to Greece where he will give a speech to dignitaries and officials from the International Olympic Committee.
The Mayor will attend a business reception hosted by the UK Ambassador to Greece on Thursday and on Friday he will meet with the Mayor of Athens to accept the ‘Medal of the City of Athens’ as an expression of honour and friendship.
The UK delegation will fly back on Friday evening, landing at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall where they will attend a special ceremony welcoming the flame and marking the beginning of a 70 day journey, which will see the torch cross the UK before arriving at the Olympic Stadium in east London on July 27.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Bringing the Olympic flame back from its ancient home in Greece is a hugely symbolic moment which will ignite peoples’ hopes and aspirations for what will be a summer like no other. As well as providing a fantastic spectacle of sport the London Games are giving us a once in a lifetime chance to make London an even better place to live, work and do business in. We must grasp the huge opportunities that they present to build on the investment we are making to deliver thousands of new jobs, new homes and new infrastructure that are already delivering solid economic growth in our great city.”