Olympic flame heading to London: The excitement is growing
By Ambassador Greg Dorey
The immediate run-down to the London 2012 opening ceremony has begun. During an hour-long ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, the Olympic Flame was handed to HRH The Princess Royal, who is leading a UK Delegation which includes Lord Coe, London Mayor Boris Johnson and Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson. The Panathenaic Stadium hosted the first modern Olympics Games in 1896.
Today I went down early to the main gate of the British Embassy in Addis Ababa to mark this event by raising the London Olympic flag together with Bethlehem Tilahun, the founder and Managing Director of soleRebels (Bostex PLC). Bethlehem is an impressive young Ethiopian business woman who won the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur of The Year Award at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa that took place in Addis Ababa last week. I hope that her achievements will inspire many Ethiopians, just as the London Olympic and Paralympic Games have already inspired many people around the world to do something special in their local communities.
It is the third time that the Olympic Flame has been handed to London since the birth of the Olympic Games. It is scheduled to arrive at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Cornwall tomorrow. From there, it will set off on its 70 day relay around the UK, visiting 1021 villages, towns and cities – carried by 8000 Torchbearers. One of the joys of the Torch relay is that hundreds of thousands of people (including me I hope) will get to see it as it travels across the UK. It‘s going to be a fantastic spectacle!
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