Jubilation and awe as Flame arrives in London ahead of the Games
Saturday, 21 July 2012
July 21 - The Olympic Flame has completed its first full day in London as it reaches the final stages of its 70-day tour across Britain to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford where it will light the Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony on July 27.
The Flame arrived in the Olympic and Paralympic host city in spectacular fashion yesterday evening, in advance of its seven-day tour of the capital, as Royal Marine Martin Williams abseiled with it from a helicopter into the grounds of the Tower of London.
This morning, it started its first full day in London in the Royal Borough of Greenwich before it travelled through Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.
On its journey, the Flame visited two London 2012 venues: Greenwich Park and the North Greenwich Arena.
At the North Greenwich Arena, it was carried onto the roof by Romania's former gymnast Nadia Comaneci, who won five Olympic gold medals in Montreal in 1976 and Moscow in 1980.
Comaneci passed the Flame to former British basketball player John Amaechi.
Other Torchbearer highlights included Tessa Sanderson, who carried the Flame in Newham.
Sanderson remains the only British woman to have won an Olympic gold medal for a throwing event, after her success in the javelin at Los Angeles 1984.
Its final, and perhaps most moving stop, today was in Walthamstow where Fabrice Muamba, the Premier League footballer who almost died after suffering a cardiac arrest in an FA Cup tie late last season, lit a cauldron at an evening celebration.
"The breath-taking arrival of the Olympic Flame heralds the final countdown to what will be the greatest Games, in the greatest city on earth, during what is truly a summer like no other," said the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
"The week ahead will see hundreds of inspiring people enjoying their moment to shine as they carry the Flame through the streets of every London Borough as the final countdown to the London 2012 Games begins."