The Olympic Torch Relay has been hailed as an ’incredible success’ after attracting estimated crowds of 200,000 people to see it during its three days in Leeds.
The iconic symbol of the London 2012 Olympic Games left Leeds this morning to continue its nationwide journey after being met by huge crowds lining the streets on its way through the city and 25,000 people at the special city celebration event at Temple Newsam Estate.
The torch first arrived in Leeds on Tuesday, when the tone was set by an estimated crowd of 25,000 people lining the streets of Boston Spa, Wetherby and Harewood before it was given a special royal welcome by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice at Harewood House.
The torch returned to the city on Sunday evening to be greeted by approximately 125,000 people on the streets of Headingley, Potternewton, Harehills and Richmond Hill as it made its way to Temple Newsam for the overnight celebration event.
The event featured live performances by Friendly Fires, Little Comets, Tribes and Diversity, with 13-year-old Aaron Bell from Halifax being given the honour of taking the flame onto the stage and lighting a special cauldron as part of the finale.
– Councillor Adam Ogilvie - executive member for leisure and skills
“The Olympic Torch coming through Leeds has been absolutely phenomenal, an incredible success and a historic three days for the city. The sheer size of the crowds to welcome it across the city has been overwhelming, with people of all ages and backgrounds coming together and making the most of this once-in-a-lifetime chance to see it which has been wonderful to see."
The torch restarted its journey this morning from the Cuthbert Brodrick-designed Leeds Town Hall before heading through the city centre via County Arcade, Leeds Bridge and the Royal Armouries before completing a lap of the running track at the John Charles Centre for Sport being cheered on by 2,000 local schoolchildren.
It then travelled on through Beeston and past Elland Road on to Morley where it left the city, being met along the way by large crowds continuing to line the route waiting to see it. All along its 17-mile journey through Leeds over the three days, over 300 volunteers also worked as Leeds Ambassadors to help liaise with the crowds at the roadside.