Petersfield prepares as Olympic Flame is lit in Greece
The London 2012 Olympic Flame was lit today in Ancient Olympia, Greece ahead of the start of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on 18 May.
The Flame will arrive in London on 18 May, before starting its 70-day journey around the UK the day after.
In a traditional ceremony organised by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), the Flame was lit at the Temple of Hera, next to the historic ruins of the home of the ancient Olympic Games. The High Priestess used a parabolic mirror to capture the sun’s rays to create the Flame. It was then carried into the Ancient Olympic Stadium.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London 2012 Organising Committee, said: 'The Olympic Flame lit in Olympia will connect the ancient Games and the modern Games. Cities, towns and villages across Greece and Britain will be connected together and to the London 2012 Olympic Games forever.’
Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony
The Olympic Flame will now be taken on an eight-day relay around Greece before arriving at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on the evening of Thursday 17 May for the Handover Ceremony. It will travel to the UK on 18 May, and start its 70-day journey around the UK the next day.
Petersfield Torch Relay plans in full swing
The Olympic Flame will be coming to Petersfield on Monday 16 July 2012, Day 59 of it's journey to the Olympic Stadium.
The Torch will arrive in Petersfield at 8.30am and will take approximately half an hour to travel through the town, before leaving Hampshire and heading to Rogate in West Sussex.
Claire Hughes, EHDC Service Manager Community, said: "Thousands of people are expected to line the streets of the town to catch a glimpse of the torch and get a sense of the excitement that is already building towards the London Olympics.
"Organising such an event is a huge logistical operation and we are already a long way down the road in terms of completing our plans for the day.
"Traffic and congestion is one of the main issues for us and a full traffic management plan has been worked up in consultation with Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Police which includes rolling road closures, the management of transport and parking provision.
"There will be plenty of work on the day in managing crowds and making sure the event passes off safely but we are proud that Petersfield has been chosen to host the torch and play a part in these historic games.”
To help manage crowds and make sure the event passes off safely EHDC is calling for members of the public to volunteer as marshals. Anyone interested in being a part of the occasion should contact Amanda Fincham, EHDC Support Manager by email: Amanda.email@example.com
Volunteers, who must be over 16 years old, will be given training and will be expected to be available in town by 6.45am.
As part of the preparations for the event local people along the route have been contacted, first aid sites have been identified and AA signs will be placed in advance to warn motorists of disruption on the day. No bin collections are being held along the route that morning.
Due to the numbers of visitors expected people will be urged to come by public transport wherever possible to alleviate some of the pressure on Petersfield’s car parks and roads.
Schools around the district are also responding to the day. Some will be opening late and some will be taking children into Petersfield to enjoy the spectacle.
The route will be dressed, and the streets will receive an extra clean both before and after the procession.
Council officers will also be travelling to Frome, in Somerset on Day 4 of the Torch’s route around the UK to see how a town of similar size handles the event and take anything learnt from that experience into the Torch’s visit to Petersfield on Day 59.
Street-by-street details of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay can be viewed in full at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay .