What's new

Olympic flame makes dramaticarrival in London

  • Thread starter dspacedude
  • Start date
  • Viewed 727 times.


The Olympic flame makes a dramatic
arrival in London on Friday to tour the
capital before it plays a starring role in
the opening ceremony in one week's
time. A Royal Marine commando will abseil
from a helicopter with the flame
before it spends the night safely
housed in the Tower of London,
where Queen Elizabeth II keeps her
ceremonial jewels. The 8,000-mile (12,800-kilometre)
relay culminates in the capital after
snaking around Britain and visiting
the Republic of Ireland. Before it reached the capital, police
arrested a 17-year-old man after he
tried to grab the torch from a female
torchbearer while it passed through
Gravesend, a town southeast of
London. The teenager sprinted out of the
crowd toward the torchbearer and
was grabbed by the security officers
accompanying the torch. The torch was to stop in Guildford just
south of London before being flown
by helicopter into London. It will
begin its tour of the capital in
Greenwich on Saturday. In another step closer to next Friday's
opening ceremony, the Olympic flag
was hoisted above the Downing
Street residence of Prime Minister
David Cameron. Preparations for the Games have been
dogged by concerns over security
after a firm supplying private guards
for venues said it could not supply all
of the 10,000 it had promised. But chief organiser Sebastian Coe
insisted security would not be
compromised, as the government had
drafted in 3,500 extra troops to cover
the shortfall by security giant G4S,
with another 1,200 on standby. "This is not an issue that has remotely
compromised security. This was
actually about the supply and the
mix, it's never been about the
numbers," Coe said. Coe however got into a testy
exchange with an interviewer about
criticisms of the organisers' approach
to protecting sponsors' rights. Asked by a BBC radio presenter if he
would be able to wear a Pepsi T-shirt
to an Olympic event, Coe replied: "No,
you probably wouldn't be walking in
with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca-Cola
are our sponsors and they have put millions of pounds into this project
but also millions of pounds into
grassroots sport. "It is important to protect those
sponsors." Asked whether he could wear Nike
trainers, since Adidas is an official
sponsor, Coe added: "Let's put some
reality in this. You probably would be
able to walk through with Nike
trainers. Does that satisfy you?" Amid gripes about the Olympic
security and transport, London Mayor
Boris Johnson hit out at critics of the
Olympics, saying Britain was about to
stage the greatest show on Earth and
doom-mongers should "put a sock in it". "Oh come off it, everybody -- enough
whimpering," Johnson wrote in The
Sun newspaper. "Cut out the whingeing. And as for
you whingers, put a sock in it -- fast." As the preparations for the Games
intensified, the competitors were
limbering up. The US basketball 'Dream Team'
spearheaded by superstars Kobe
Bryant and LeBron James underlined
their status as favourites for gold
when they beat Britain in a warm-up
game in Manchester. The Dream Team's form contrasted
with bad news for tennis star Rafael
Nadal, who has been forced to pull
out of the Games because he is
struggling with tendinitis in his knees. The man expected to be one of the
faces of the London Olympics, the
world's fastest man Usain Bolt, is also
struggling with fitness. The reigning Olympic 100 metres and
200 metres champion has been given
a new orthopaedic bed at the Jamaica
team's training base in Birmingham,
central England, to ensure a
longstanding back problem does not flare up. Bolt will not compete at a Diamond
League meeting in Monaco on Friday
after complaining of tightness in his
hamstring in the aftermath of his
defeat by compatriot Yohan Blake at
the Jamaican Olympic trials last month.

Related Topics