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The World Looks to Land’s End as Olympic Spirit Takes Light Across Britain

Thousands of people lined the route as the eyes of the world fell on Land’s End to witness the remarkable start of Britain’s Olympic Torch Relay.

05/21/2012 (press release: Online PR) // UK // GDR Public Relations Ltd

Thousands of people lined the route as the eyes of the world fell on Land’s End to witness the remarkable start of Britain’s Olympic Torch Relay. After a star-studded arrival, which saw the Princess Royal, David Beckham, Boris Johnson and Seb Coe bring the Flame to UK shores, attention turned to the most south-westerly tip of the country.

Triple gold medallist Ben Ainslie – who grew up and learned to sail in Cornwall – took the honours by carrying the first Torch, lit from the Olympic Flame which was flown in by helicopter from RNAS Culdrose. Huge crowds turned out despite the early start to watch the acclaimed yachtsman start the Olympic Torch Relay at 7.00am on a brisk but clear morning.

The iconic signpost at Land’s End marked the starting point of the Torch’s 8,000-mile, 10-week trek across Britain before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium to signify the start of the London 2012 Games in July. As well as lighting the first Torch, the Flame also lit a fuse of enthusiasm which will burn around the country as the Torch passes from town to city and county to country.

Ben Ainslie said: “It is one of those moments in your life where you are just in shock. It was an amazing moment. “It was probably one of the more nervous moments in my life, but it is so special for everybody to see the Olympic torch. The atmosphere was great.”

Seb Coe, chairman of Locog, the organisers of London 2012, described Ben Ainslie as the “perfect person” to start the Relay because he grew up in the area and was an “inspirational sportsman who has worked hard to achieve his goals.”

Ben Ainslie handed the Torch over to a chain of different Torch bearers, as it travelled up through Cornwall on the first day of its epic journey. A real celebration was laid on at Land’s End to mark the debut of the Relay. General Manager David Bryans explained the whole site had undergone a major facelift to look its best for the historic day.

“Land’s End was the perfect location to start the London 2012 Torch Relay. It was an honour for all of us here to host this important event,” he said. “We were delighted to see such huge crowds to wish the Torch well on its way.”

A special celebration breakfast was held at the famous Land’s End Hotel for Torch bearers, guests and VIPs. A festival of entertainment was laid on to mark the occasion, showcasing Cornwall’s talent and heritage to the thousands of spectators who turned out to watch.

It included a host of entertainers, including acrobats and fire jugglers, from Penryn-based Swamp Circus. The UK’s longest running contemporary circus, which has toured the world over the last 15 years, also provided pyrotechnics and a street show featuring a band, clowns, mime, high unicycles and fire juggling.

Cornish theatre and dance group Kernocopia also performed a spectacular, specially-written piece of theatre on a 30 foot boat. Land’s End has already announced a £3million investment programme to coincide with the Torch Relay, including a £250,000 renovation of its hotel restaurant, lounge bar and reception area. It made a series of arrangements to help visitors enjoy the big day. Free shuttle buses to Land’s End were operated from a free temporary car park set up in nearby Sennen to ferry spectators to and from the site.

– ENDS –

Issued on behalf of Land’s End

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Turner or Richard Baguley

GDR Public Relations Ltd

Tel: 01253-600800 or 07961-556391 or 07715-373166

Social Media Tags:Land’s End, Land’s End Hotel, hotel restaurant

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