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London 2012 Paralympic Games Torch Relay

London 2012 Paralympic Torch London 2012 Paralympic Torch © • Getty Images

The London 2012 Paralympic Games Torch Relay will take place on 28/29 August.

Four Flames will be lit as part of a new concept for the Paralympic Torch Relay, one each in London, Greater Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The Flames will be lit using the energy of physical human endeavour. Each nation will also host events celebrating the Flame Lightings. On 28 August the four Flames will be united at the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame. This Flame will be carried by 580 Torchbearers on a 24 hour overnight Relay to London and the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games.

As part of the initiative, over 150 school teams from across the UK are taking part in STEM Challenge 9: The Paralympic Torch Relay Challenge, an Inspire mark project, where groups of 11 to 14-year-olds students are investigating how to create a spark by the energy of human endeavour to light the Paralympic Flame. STEMNET is shortlisting finalists, with the final taking place on Saturday 17 March at The Big Bang UK Science and Engineering Fair 2012. The winning team will receive prize money to support their school STEM Club and access to a Paralympic Torch Relay event. For more information please visit www.stemchallenges.net.

33 communities from across the UK have taken the opportunity to host Flame Celebration’s over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Each celebration will be unique and have a flavour of the local area but will have the Paralympic values at its core. To find a celebration near you, please visitwww.london2012.com/paralympic-torch-relay

In addition to the Flame Festivals and Flame Celebrations, the whole of the UK will be encouraged to help light the way to the Paralympic Games by lighting a lantern. To get involved, please visitwww.london2012.com/get-involved/local-leaders/lantern-festival/

The Paralympic Torch, unveiled six months before the Games, is a three sided form, inspired by the multiples of ‘three’ identified across London 2012. One of these is the Agitos, the symbol of the International Paralympic Committee. The three Agitos encircle a central point to emphasize the role the International Paralympic Committee plays in bringing athletes from all parts of the world together to compete. In the same way, the three sides of the Paralympic Torch encircle the Paralympic Flame.

It is made from an aluminium alloy which was developed for the aerospace and automotive industry, the Paralympic Torch has been given a mirrored finish which means that its colour will adapt to its surroundings. It will not only reflect the light from the Flame but also shine brightly on the teams of Torchbearers that carry it and the communities that it travels through on the way from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium. With part of the 24 hour relay taking place overnight, the reflective nature of the Torch will help it shine brightly and stand out in the darkness.

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