London 2012: Olympic Flame handover ceremony to begin

16:55 17 May 2012

The Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony is about to begin in Greece.

During the ceremony, which starts at 7pm local time (5pm British time) at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, the Olympic Flame will be handed to the British London 2012 delegation, led by The Princess Royal.

The Flame will be flown from Athens to RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall tomorrow, ahead of the start of the Olympic Torch relay on Saturday morning.

Since being lit in Ancient Olympia last week, the Olympic Flame has been taken on a relay around Greece, visiting places including Crete, Thessalonica and Larissa.

Today’s handover ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium will begin with the Olympic Anthem and will be followed by the national anthems of the United Kingdom and Greece.

The High Priest and Priestesses will then come into the Stadium and position themselves around the altar.

The last torchbearers, Chinese gymnast Li Ning, who was the final torchbearer at Beijing in 2008 and lit the torch in the Olympic Stadium, and Greek weightlifter Pyrros Dimas, will arrive and light the cauldron.

Usually there is only one final torchbearer but the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) this year decided on two. The committee said: “The last torchbearers will be this time, two in number and their presence will be symbolically linking the past Olympic Games in Beijing, with Greece, the birthplace of the institution and the upcoming Games in London.”

Spyros Capralos, the president of the HOC will make a speech, followed by a speech by Seb Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

The Olympic Flame will then be handed to the British delegation, who will leave the Stadium around 7.45pm local time (5.45pm British time).

Also attending the handover ceremony are London mayor Boris Johnson, Olympics minister Hugh Robertson, former England football captain David Beckham and five young people from across Britain, including Sakinah Muhammad from Clapton Girls’ Academy, Hackney.

On Friday they will fly on a gold painted British Airways plane back to Britain.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Monday, March 30, 2015
Can you guess which politicians make up these coalition lovechildren?

As the election draws near, there’s been lots of talk about another coalition, which got us thinking: What would it look like if Boris Johnson and Ed Miliband had a baby?

Monday, March 30, 2015
The five-and-a-half-week general election campaign kicks off today (Pic: Getty Images)

The general election campaign kicked off this morning with David Cameron warning voters they face a “stark choice” after five years of coalition government.

Friday, March 20, 2015
With the election coverage reaching fever picth here are some interesting things you may have missed (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

In amongst all the political rhetoric, endless polling and debate about having debates there’s plenty of interesing things you might have missed about the General Election. That’s why we’re here to fill you in:

Friday, March 20, 2015
Check out our guide to making sure you can cast your vote on May 7 (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Whether you’re a first-time voter or you’ve just not got round to it yet – our handy guide to voting will help you make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to make your voice count.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
The letter from Sarah Sackman - clearly signed off as MP for Finchley and Golders Green

When trying to win an election confidence in your ability is key - but signing off letters as MP despite the election still being 50 days away is probably a bit presumptuous.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
(Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

The three chancellors George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander took scrambled to get their hands on bank notes today during a Crystal Dome cash grab.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Vroom! You could be emmersed in the action at the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.

The MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship fires into Brands Hatch on 17/18/19 April for one of the most anticipated seasons in recent years as 39 riders are set for two fierce contests on the 1.2 mile Indy circuit.

Read more