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Olympic Flame nears end of its 70 day journey round the Isles

07-26-2012 22:28 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

By Sportswriter Paul Giblin

LONDON, July 26 (Xinhua) -- It landed at Lands End on the extreme south-west coast of England 69 days ago and after making its way around the British Isles, the Olympic Torch finally reaches the Olympic stadium on Friday.

When it reaches the end of its travels, the torch, which is made of gold colored aluminum alloy, will have been carried by 8,000 'inspirational' people, some of them famous, some of them not so famous, but all of them proud of carrying the flame and the work they did to earn the honor.

It will have been carried along streets lined with cheering people: it will have climbed mountains, sailed down rapids, been lowered from a helicopter, suspended in a cable car, carried on a mountain bike, flown to the Channel Islands and travelled beneath the streets on the London Underground.

In a route which has taken it as close as possible to as many people in Britain, the torch has made a journey through the ages: from the ancient ruins of Stonehenge to the high-tech buildings of London.

The Flame passed through esteemed centers of learning and tradition, such as Oxford and Cambridge Universities, it visited the home of William Shakespeare and Sherwood Forest - the abode of the legendary Robin Hood as well as passing by the emblematic sculpture 'The Angel of the North.'

It has withstood the British weather, being carried through the wettest month of June in over 150 years, battered by strong winds and surrounded by mist, before enjoying the sunshine of the past few days. But still the British have cheered its progress.

By the time the torch had completed half of its circuit of Britain, it had been seen by 4 million people, while an estimated 500,000 went to see it pass by on the first day it passed through the capital.

It is a journey that has been at times fast, normally slow and not without mishaps (taking it to the White Water center was not a good idea as the water momentarily extinguished the flame, which had to be relit by the 'mother flame,' which is also making the journey). But the voyage has served to highlight the imminent arrival of the Olympic Games, while also promoting the beauty and spectacle of the British Isles.

And now that journey nears its end when on Friday evening, after 70 days the Torch finally enters the Olympic Stadium and is used to light the Olympic Cauldron to symbolize the start of the 2012 Olympics. It has been a long road, but the end is now clearly in sight.

 

 

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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