Four Paralympic Torches have been ignited at the top of the highest peaks of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to welcome the arrival of next week’s Games
The burning flames – which represent the four home nations – were created on Northern Ireland’s Slieve Donard, Snowdon in Wales, Scotland’s Ben Nevis and on Scafell Pike in England’s Lake District. At each of the towering summits, the traditional technique of rubbing flint together created the sparks to kindle the Flames.
As a celebration of Britain’s industrial history, the Flames will now be carried in miner’s lanterns to London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
The four fiery siblings will then be taken direct to Stoke Mandeville, home of the Paralympic Movement, where they will be reunited at a Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony on 28 August to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
Following the Flame Lighting Ceremony, there will be a 24-hour Torch Relay from Stoke Mandeville to London, where it will arrive at the Olympic Park to signify the beginning of the Paralympics 2012 on 29 August.
The torch itself is made from an aluminum alloy and has been given a shimmering, mirrored finish which means that its colour will adapt to its surroundings. With part of the 24 hour relay taking place overnight, the reflective nature of the Torch will help it shine brightly and stand out in the darkness.
Its distinctive three sided design is inspired by the multiples of ‘three’ identified across London 2012. One of these is the Agitos, the symbol of the International Paralympic Committee. The three Agitos encircle a central point to emphasise the significance the International Paralympic Committee plays in uniting talented athletes from around the world. In the same way, the three sides of the Paralympic Torch encircle the Paralympic Flame.