First torchbearer for Olympic torch relay announced

May 11th, 2012 - 3:54 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 11 (IANS) The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has confirmed that the first torchbearer for the Olympic torch relay in the UK would be three-times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie.

Ainslie will start the 70-day relay at the Land’s End Landmark signpost at 7.08 a.m. local time May 19. He won gold medals in sailing at the Beijing, Athens and Sydney Olympic Games and has a silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

“I am extremely honoured to be the first torchbearer at the start of the 70-day Olympic torch relay. It will be an amazing experience to be able to carry the Olympic flame in the area that I grew up in,” Ainslie was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

“I also want to congratulate the thousands of other inspirational people who will carry the torch this summer and bring the excitement of the Games to streets throughout the UK, he added.

Sebastian Coe, Chairman of LOCOG said: “Ben is the perfect person to start the relay in Land’s End as he grew up in the area and is an inspirational sportsman who has worked hard to achieve his goals.

Ainslie is one of 8,000 torchbearers who will carry the Olympic flame during the relay.

On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine.

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