Olympic flame lit

The countdown the Olympic Games in London has begun with the lighting of the Olympic flame at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, where the ancient Games took place.

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Olympic flame lighting 'is an exciting reminder that we are getting ever closer to the Games'

As the Olympic flame lighting ceremony gets underway, the Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne has said the torch relay is a great precursor to the Games:

_“Today is an exciting reminder that we are getting ever closer to the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics Games. _

_The historic route of the Olympic Flame shows how the Olympics unites people and countries, and we are looking forward to welcoming the world this summer. _

The arrival of the Torch in the UK on 18 May will generate excitement throughout the country as we head towards the opening ceremony on 27 July.”

'Torch Relay will lift the spirits of the world'

Sebastian Coe will speak at the Torch lighting ceremony today and is expected to say:

We promise to protect the flame; to cherish its traditions and to stage an uplifting Torch Relay of which we can all be proud and which can inspire a generation. As torchbearers lift the Olympic Flame in the days and months ahead, it is our hope that they will also lift the spirits and hopes of people across Britain and across world


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