Olympic Torch will illuminate St Andrews ill

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ST ANDREWS is to host the Olympic Torch next summer as the town plays its part in the build up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The news was revealed this week by Sir Menzies Campbell, MP for North East Fife and a member of the Olympic Board.

A former Olympic athlete himself, Sir Ming has been campaigning for over a year for St Andrews to host part of the traditional relay event that will see the famous torch paraded along the West Sands, the location used for the dramatic opening scene of Chariots of Fire.

He told the Citizen: “I am delighted at the prospect of the Olympic Torch visiting St Andrews.

“The news that St Andrews is to be included will be warmly welcomed. The sight of the torch going along the West Sands - where the iconic opening scenes from the film ‘Chariots of Fire’ were shot - will make a wonderful backdrop for the torch relay.

“Where better to bring the torch than the home of golf, which is to be included in the Olympics for the first time in 2016.”

The MP ran in the 200 metres at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and went on to captain the UK Athletics Team a year later.

He held the British 100 metres record for seven years from 1967.

The torch will arrive in the UK next year on May 19 at Lands End.

It will then travel around the country for 70 days before finally arriving in London on July 21 where its arrival will signal the start of the games.

Organisers are now looking for nominations to carry the torch around the UK with an average of 110 people needed per day to complete the relay.

Half of the torchbearer places are expected to go to people aged between 12 and 24 who play an active, positive role in their community.

Stage shows and celebration events will be arranged at each of the stopover locations along the route.

The torch itself is lit in Olympia from the sun’s rays using a parabolic mirror and then taken on a relay around Greece. Unlike at previous games, the torch for 2012 will not go around the world and will be taken straight to the UK.

Sebastian Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee, told the Citizen: ‘Carrying the Olympic Flame is an incredible honour and, from today, people have the opportunity to reward someone inspirational by nominating them to be part of this historic event.

“This is a great occasion to give someone you know, who has made a difference and who deserves recognition, their moment to shine.’