Canberra to host leg of torch relay - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra to host leg of torch relay

26/04/2007 10:28:39 PM Comments (0)

Canberra will be the sole Australian city to host a leg of the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay, it has been announced.

Chinese officials chose Canberra for the honour which will take place on April 24 next year.

Up to 80 torch bearers will carry the Olympic flame.

"I am delighted that Canberra has been chosen for the 2008 torch relay," Prime Minister John Howard said.

"As the national capital and home of the Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra has played a significant role in Australia's Olympic preparations over many years.

The flame will arrive in Canberra from Jakarta on the evening of April 23. The following day the relay will wind its way around Canberra for approximately five hours before the flame heads to its next destination in Japan.

"The (Australian Olympic Committee) would like to invite past Olympians and young Beijing hopefuls to run with the torch on a route which will include Federal Parliament House and other significant Canberra landmarks" AOC president John Coates said in a statement.

"Torch Bearers will be sourced from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) and the Australian Capital Territory Academy of Sport (ACTAS) as an acknowledgement of their contribution to the Australian Olympic Team.

"Members of the local community will also be invited to participate."

The 2004 Athens Torch Relay visited the previous Olympic host cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

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