London 2012: Golden plane to carry Olympic flame to Cornwall
London 2012 officials reveal that the Olympic flame will arrive in the UK in a gold liveried airplane after a relay around Greece
London 2012 officials have revealed the Olympic flame will arrive in the UK in a gold liveried airplane after a eight-day relay around Greece.
The flame will be ignited from the sun’s rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia on 10 May, following a traditional hour-long ceremony among the historic ruins of the home of the ancient Games.
It will then travel around the spiritual home of the Olympics for just over a week before it is handed over to a London 2012 representative at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, a Games venue in 1898 and 2004.
The flame will then depart by plane to a Royal Navy air station in Cornwall before starting its 70-day journey around the UK from Land’s End on 18 May.
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 can burn safely for up to 30 hours and when flight BA2012 arrives at RNAS Culdrose it will be welcomed by an estimated 1,000 guests and local residents.
“When the plane touches down in Cornwall carrying the Olympic torch it will be a hugely exciting moment,” said Olympics secretary Jeremy Hunt.
“This kicks off our incredible torch relay right around the country and I’m sure the torch will spread ‘Olympic fever’ everywhere it goes.”
London 2012 officials have promised the flame will pass within ten miles of 95 percent of the UK population on its way to the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford on 27 July.