Olympic torch to spark pre-2012 celebrations

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THE Olympic torch will be virtually on Thame’s doorstep in 2012 in the build-up to the London Games.

It will be on display overnight just 17 miles away in Oxford, giving the people of Thame and surrounding villages an ideal opportunity to view the historic symbol.

Prior to that the torch will be at Luton, so could be passing through the area en-route.

Olympic chiefs revealed the torch’s journey this week, which sees it travel for around 12 hours a day, before arriving at its overnight venue.

The torch’s arrival in Oxfordshire is then expected to trigger an evening of celebrations.

London 2012 chairman Seb Coe said: “The Olympic flame will shine a light right across every nation and region of the UK and showcase the very best of who we are and where we live.

“The first locations on the route confirmed today give a flavour of the reach the Olympic Torch Relay will have around the UK and how extensive the opportunity for starting to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games will be.”

It will be the first time that the torch has been this close to the town and the aim of the tour is for it to reach as many people as possible

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said: “The Olympic torch relay brings London 2012 to the doorsteps of the UK, giving everybody the chance to celebrate the London Games. It’s a magnificent showcase for the country and a chance to mark the achievements of inspirational people in our communities.”

The torch is currently being created by designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby and is due to be revealed in June 2011.

It will then travel for 70 days culminating at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 for the Opening Ceremony.

But there will be no international torch relay after the International Olympic Committee decided against the idea.

This is due to the controversial Beijing torch relay in 2008 where protestors used the event to demonstrate against China’s human rights abuses.