Olympic torch rises above the capital
The Olympic Torch reached new heights yesterday as it was held aloft on the London Eye.
Amelia Hempleman-Adams, who became the youngest person to ski to the South Pole when aged just 16, grinned from ear to ear as she held the flame on top of a capsule on board the giant wheel.
Illuminated by early-morning sunshine, the 17-year-old daughter of adventurer David Hempleman-Adams held on tight as she raised the torch above the sleepy capital shortly after 8 a.m.
And she kept a tight grip as she posed with the flame at a height much greater than nearby Big Ben, surrounded by bright blue sky.
The young explorer, who carried out her record-breaking expedition with her father last December, described holding the torch above the capital as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.
The stunt was suggested to the teenager, who told the BBC: “I decided to see what I’d have to do, thought about it and decided to do it. It was amazing to look out and see the whole of London.”
Amelia, who has tickets for the athletics and diving events, added: “The height was quite scary but you know you’re safe so it’s not too bad.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially as the Olympics are in London. It makes it more special.”
The flame was later carried by former world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis as it made its way through the boroughs of Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Bexley on Day 65 of the relay.
The flame came within a stone’s throw of the Olympic Park on Saturday when it was carried through Stratford after starting its London journey earlier in the day at the Greenwich Royal Observatory.
Reports said that more than 500,000 people turned out on Saturday to welcome the torch on the first day of its tour around the capital.
Meanwhile, it became known that London’s Olympic Stadium has been nominated for the 2012 Stirling Prize, Britain’s top architecture award.
The 80,000-seater stadium in Stratford was among six buildings shortlisted for the annual award, the Royal Institute of British Architects said.
The showpiece venue, costing €625 million, has a simple design, drawn up with a view to scaling it down after the Games.
The steel and concrete upper tier can be dismantled, leaving a 25,000-seater sunken bowl.
Construction was completed under budget in March 2011.