Sports stars carry Olympic Flame as Torch Relay continues
Olympic gold medallists Chris Hoy and Seb Coe, Football World Cup-winner Bobby Charlton and BMX racer Shanaze Reade have all joined a host of other inspirational Torchbearers by carrying the Olympic Flame during the London 2012 Torch Relay.
After reaching the halfway point in Blackpool on Friday, the 70-day Relay continued its journey around the British Isles on Saturday, travelling over 70 miles and passing through 17 communities on its way from Lytham St Anne’s to Manchester, where four-time Olympic gold medallist Hoy received the Flame.
Following an evening celebration in Albert Square, the relay continued on Sunday with BMX star Reade – who competed in the 2008 Games in Beijing – the first Torchbearer of the morning, carrying the Flame on her bike.
The 23-year-old then handed the Torch to Kirsty Howard, 16, who was born with a rare heart condition but has dedicated her life to raising money for Francis House, the hospice where she receives her care. So far she has raised over £6 million.
Later in the morning, former Manchester United star Charlton carried the Flame past the club’s Old Trafford ground.
The famous stadium – known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ – will host nine matches during the Olympic football tournament this summer, including Great Britain’s men’s opening game against Senegal on 26 July and semi-final matches for both the men’s and women’s competitions.
The Flame then made its way to Leeds, before continuing on to Sheffield on Monday, with more former Olympians taking part in the Relay.
Dorothy Hyman, 71, carried the Flame in Lundwood. The former athlete competed in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, representing Great Britain at the Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964 Games and winning a silver and two bronze medals.
The Olympic Torch has travelled more than 3,000 miles on its journey around the UK so far, which reached the halfway point on Saturday. More than four million people have turned out to cheer on over 3,529 inspirational Torchbearers as Olympic fever sweeps across the country.