London 2012: Paralympic Flames being lit on Scafell Pike, Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Slieve Donard
The four Flames which will make up the Paralympic Flame are being lit this morning.
Scouts started their climbs to the highest peaks in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland at dawn today, and at the summits will strike a ferrocerium rod against a rough steel surface to create the sparks that will create the Flames.
The English Flame will be lit at Scafell Pike by Scouts from communities local to Scafell Pike. They are Rebecca Haslam, 21, Tom Lawson, 20, David Harding, 17, and Tom Usher, 16, and they are being led by group Scout leader Geoff Price.
David said: “I am very proud of climbing Scafell Pike and lighting the English Flame. I hope we do a great job for everyone.”
Joining them is mountaineer Karl Hinett from Tipton. He sustained multiple injuries in Iraq when he was badly burned in a petrol bomb attack.
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Karl has since gone on to climb mountains all over the world including Everest. In addition to Karl’s passion for climbing, he has also run in close to 100 marathons in two years, each time raising a large amount for charity.
He said “This is a huge honour. I can’t wait to get started up Scafell Pike, it’s a beautiful part of our country and the perfect location for this historic occasion.”
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Seb Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: “The combination of teamwork and human endeavour being used to create the English Flame is a very fitting start to the Paralympic Torch Relay celebrations.
“This group of inspirational individuals will be lighting the way to a fantastic 11 days of sport.”
Once lit the Flames will be placed in miner’s lanterns and brought back down on foot. The English Flame will be transferred to Trafalgar Square in London for a day of Paralympic celebration on Friday.
The Scottish Flame is being lit on Ben Nevis and will be taken to Edinburgh for its national celebration; the Welsh Flame is being lit on Snowdon and will be taken to Cardiff and the Northern Irish Flame is being lit on Slieve Donard and will be taken to Belfast.
From the Paralympic celebrations in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, the four national Flames will be taken to Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic movement, where they will be united during a special ceremony on Tuesday, August 28 to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
At the end of the ceremony, the 24-hour overnight relay route will see the Paralympic Flame carried 92 miles by 580 inspirational Torchbearers, working in teams of five, from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium to officially open the London 2012 Paralympic Games.