Edwards joins torch demonstration

19 March 2012 / 11:58

Former Olympic champion and member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Locog) Jonathan Edwards joined London Mayor Boris Johnson for a demonstration of the Olympic Torch relay handovers at a school in east London on Monday.

Around 70 children from Redlands Primary School in Stepney wore hats and shook colourful shakers they made for the run-through in their playground.

Five torchbearers, including 99-year-old Diana Gould, from Harrow, the oldest torchbearer who will be 100 when she takes part in the relay, wore the white tracksuits they will wear for the handovers.

Former triple-jumper Edwards, said: "It's a really exciting day. The torch relay is literally around the corner and it's all systems go."

Explaining the moment when the torches are held together to pass on the flame, he said: "The kiss is the big moment when the flame is passed from torchbearer to torchbearer and obviously you have to get it right - you don't want the flame to go out.

"It's called a kiss. You have to hold them together for about 10 seconds to make sure the flame passes and then the next runner runs off for their 300m stint.

Mr Johnson said the children from Redlands Primary will always remember the day the torch goes along the route near their school.

"I think it's going to be something that they'll keep for the rest of their lives," he said. "This is something our city will not do again in my lifetime."

Referring to the oldest torchbearer, Mrs Gould, he said: "Diana, who's 99, she remembers vividly the Olympics in 1948, but people like me probably won't see another Olympic Games.

"It's not just London, it's people from all around the country of all ages and obviously I think it's going to be very very wonderful for them."

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