London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay heads to Birmingham

Olympic Torch Relay logoThe iconic Olympic flame will light up Birmingham next summer after the city was today selected as a host destination for The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

As the city prepares to host the USA and Jamaican training camps, the Olympic Games countdown will get underway on Saturday June 30 2012 with a celebration of the city’s culture, sport and heritage, to be hosted in Victoria Square.

Birmingham is one of 66 Evening Celebration locations across the UK confirmed today by the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

The evening events will offer thousands of people the opportunity to come together and get involved in celebrations and share in the Olympic spirit.

As part of the events LOCOG and the Presenting Partners, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, will stage exciting entertainment shows where a cauldron will be lit from the Olympic Flame, marking the end of the day’s proceedings.

The Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on Friday 18 May 2012 and the 70 day Torch Relay will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of the 19 May 2012.  On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles across the UK, giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to their doorstep. The Olympic Flame will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Cllr Martin Mullaney, Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said: “The Torch Relay is the curtain raiser to what we know will be a huge and spectacular sporting event, so I’m proud that Birmingham has been selected as an overnight stay for the Olympic flame.

“Across the world, the flame is the most recognisable symbol of the modern Games and I’m sure the people of Birmingham will be out in force to celebrate its arrival in our city.

“We’re looking forward to hosting training camps for the USA and Jamaica. Now we can get in the mood for what I know will be an unforgettable Olympic Games by welcoming the Olympic flame to Britain’s Sporting City.”

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “We are thrilled that Birmingham City Council has agreed to host the Olympic Flame on its journey right across the UK.  The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across Birmingham, celebrating the culture and heritage of the area and showcasing the very best of the city.

“We have no doubt that the welcome Birmingham will provide will demonstrate how the spirit of the Olympic Games is reaching out across the UK and excitement builds as the start of the 2012 Games draws closer.”

The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers and once the detailed daily route is confirmed later this year, it is our aim that 95% population will be within a one hour journey time, of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

The London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer nomination programme launches today at 11am. Together with the three Presenting Partners – Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, LOCOG is seeking 8,000 of the most inspirational people to have their moment to shine next summer by carrying the Olympic Flame. Full details of the LOCOG Torchbearer programme and how to nominate potential Torchbearers will be released from 11am today.

In addition to the locations confirmed on the route today, many other cities, towns, villages and places of outstanding natural beauty, sports venues and community hubs will be announced in a second, more detailed route announcement later this year that will confirm the many other places the Olympic Flame will visit on each day of the Relay.

ENDS

For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

Notes to editors

Coca-Cola has a proud heritage of involvement in Olympic Torch Relays. Coca-Cola has supported ten Olympic Torch Relays and the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay will be the company’s eighth as a Presenting Partner. Coca-Cola’s ambition for the London 2012 Torch Relay is to intensify excitement and anticipation for the 2012 Olympic Games by shining a light on the best of British youth and encouraging people to get involved in their local communities.

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. We will bring the Relay closer to our customers through our branches on practically every high street and our activities in the community, National School Sport Week and Local Heroes.  Customers can be the first to hear about exclusive offers, including how they can have the chance to carry the Olympic Flame, through our customer-exclusive programme, Trackside. Find out more at www.lloydstsb.com/london2012

Samsung looks forward to recommencing its Presenting Partnership of the Olympic Torch Relay by providing citizens from the UK and around the world the opportunity to share the dynamic experiences of the London Olympic Games. For Athens 2004, under the theme of “Share the Experience,” Samsung was one of two Presenting Partners of the first ever global Olympic Torch Relay. For Torino 2006, Samsung provided a once-in-a-lifetime chance to run with the Olympic Flame to more than 1,900 people around the world in Italy. And as one of three Presenting Partners of the Beijing 2008 OTR, 1,500 Samsung torchbearers carried the flame for the International Torch Relay. For the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay in particular, Samsung aims to leverage its role as a Presenting Partner to highlight its passion for youth and the future and encourage participants to join together in creating a memorable and inspirational journey.

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