Fri, May 11, 2012
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Sailer Ainslie to be first torchbearer for Olympic torch telay

2012-05-11 00:15:51 GMT2012-05-11 08:15:51(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LONDON, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has confirmed that the first torchbearer for the Olympic torch relay will be three-times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie.

Ainslie will start the 70-day relay at the Land's End Landmark signpost at 7:08 a.m. on 19 May. He grew up in Cornwall and won gold medals in sailing at the Beijing, Athens and Sydney Olympic Games. He also won a silver medal at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Ainslie said: "I am extremely honored to be the first torchbearer at the start the 70-day Olympic torch relay. It will be an amazing experience to be able to carry the Olympic flame in the area that I grew up in.

"I also want to congratulate the thousands of other inspirational people who will carry the torch this summer and bring the excitement of the Games to streets throughout the UK."

Seb Coe, Chairman of LOCOG said: "Ben is the perfect person to start the relay in Land's End as he grew up in the area and is an inspirational sportsman who has worked hard to achieve his goals.

"He will kick off what will be an amazing celebration of people and places from all over the UK in the run up to the Olympics Games this summer."

Ainslie is one of 8,000 torchbearers who will carry the Olympic flame during the relay.

On leaving Land's End, the Olympic flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic flame comes to a place near them.

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