Four flames to be lit for Paralympic torch relay

Four separate flames will be lit for the torch relay in the run-up to the start of the London 2012 Paralympics.

The first will be lit in London on August 24, followed by lightings in Greater Belfast a day later, Edinburgh on August 26 and Cardiff on August 27.

Different ways, yet to be decided, will be found for people to spark the separate flames.

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This is in contrast to the custom of lighting the Olympic flame, which is traditionally said to be by the sparks of the sun.

All four flames will then go on whirlwind tours of community groups in each city before being combined into a single Paralympic flame at Stoke Mandeville, the home of the Paralympics.

This special event, on August 28, will be followed by a 24-hour relay from Stoke Mandeville to the opening ceremony in London on August 29.

A “unique” method of lighting each flame is promised before 580 torchbearers, working in teams of five, carry the final Paralympic flame to London, according to London 2012 chairman Lord Coe.

He said: “Day after day, our Paralympians show the energy of human endeavour, both on and off the sporting field of play.”