Coe relishes 2012 Flame touchdown

Lord Sebastian Coe

Lord Sebastian Coe

First published in National Sport © by

The touchdown of the Olympic Flame on British soil could trigger the greatest buzz yet about the London 2012 Games, Lord Coe hopes.

It is the time when the public will see and feel that the July 27 opening ceremony is just around the corner.

Games chairman Lord Coe is getting ready for the official handover of the flame at the sundown ceremony in the Panathenaic Stadium, home of the 1896 Athens Games.

It will be transferred to Lands End where three-time Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie will be the first torchbearer in the final 70-day relay to the start of the Games.

Describing it as one of the "big moments" towards the Games, Lord Coe said: "I have seen hundreds and hundreds of citations of the people who are running.

"They are absolutely fantastic stories.

"We have got from 12 to 100 (year-olds) with fantastic stories."

The British torch relay has deliberately been set up to shine a spotlight on unsung heroes involved in sport and community work, the younger generation and to move through communities across Britain.

Lord Coe carried the torch in 2004 and also for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics which involved getting on a bus with other torchbearers at 4am in the cold.

"The stories on that bus that day were, for me, in a way far more exciting than running with the torch," he recalled. "It was all about people talking about how the Games had affected them."

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