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Olympics-Dublin included on London 2012 torch route
LAUSANNE, Switzerland |
LAUSANNE, Switzerland Dec 8 (Reuters) - Dublin will be on the torch relay route for next year's London Olympics with the Irish capital hosting the flame on June 6, the International Olympic Committee and organisers LOCOG said on Thursday.
"It's going to be a one-day event," Gilbert Felli, Executive Director of the Olympic Games, told reporters.
"It is why it took a bit of time (to finalise). We always pop into the neighbouring countries. Knowing the sensibility of the issue here we wanted to make sure the government was in the loop."
Organisers LOCOG said the flame would arrive in Dublin in the morning of June 6 and be carried through the city before a mid-morning celebration at a central location.
"I am delighted that the Olympic Flame will travel across the border into the Republic next year," said Irish Sports and Tourism Minister Michael Ring in a statement.
"This historic occasion recognises the friendship, peace and cooperation that now exists on the island of Ireland and demonstrates the unifying power of sport.
"A number of international teams have already chosen Dublin as a training base before the London Games. The visit of the Olympic Flame next year will be a wonderful opportunity for the whole of Ireland to be even more closely involved with the 2012 London Olympic Games and for Irish people to be part of the biggest sporting event in the world," added Ring.
The 70-day torch relay will travel some 12,800 kms around Britain, taking in 1,018 villages and the 1,085-metre summit of Snowdon, before culminating with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron on July 27.
The relay will also take in landmarks around Britain with the flame travelling at times by canal boat, cable car, tram, steam train, hot air balloon and even motorcycle sidecar on the Isle of Man TT course.
More than 95 percent of the population will be within an hour of the route.
London has chosen a lower profile relay than the protest-marred international route to Beijing in 2008, which included the problematic ascent of Everest.
Organisers made the first conditional offers on Thursday to some of the 8,000 torch bearers who will take part in the relay.
Some 90 percent of the places were made available to people nominated through public campaigns run by LOCOG and sponsor partners while the remainder are by invitation. (Additional reporting by Alan Baldwin in London)
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