25 Aug 2012

Paralympic torch lit for relay

8:10 am on 25 August 2012

A ceremonial cauldron has been lit in Trafalgar Square in London to launch the Paralympic torch relay.

Claire Lomas, who was paralysed in a horse riding accident, lit the cauldron from the English national flame kindled on Scafell Pike.

Prime Minister David Cameron, London Mayor Boris Johnson and London 2012 chairman Seb Coe attended the ceremony.

The relay travels from Stoke Mandeville to London overnight on Tuesday for the Games opening ceremony on Wednesday evening.

Mr Cameron marked the occasion by wishing Paralympic Games competitors good luck.

''Over these next two weeks, we're going to have more of those moments that will bring us together and make us proud,'' he said.

The BBC reports four national flames were kindled at the summit of the highest peaks in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales on Wednesday.

The national flames will be used to light cauldrons outside Stormont in Northern Ireland on Saturday, at The Mound in Edinburgh on Sunday and outside City Hall in Cardiff on Monday.

Next Tuesday the four flames will be brought together in Stoke Mandeville where they will create the Paralympic flame, signalling the start of the relay.

The Paralympic flame will then be carried 92 miles by 580 torchbearers, in teams of five, through Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and London to the Olympic stadium in Stratford.

There it will be used to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Games on the evening of 29 August.