Paralympic flame lights ceremonial cauldron in Edinburgh

 

The Paralympic flame created on Britain's highest peak will be used to light a ceremonial cauldron in Edinburgh this morning as part of a festival celebrating the Games.

"Splinters" of the fire which was made by scouts on the summit of Ben Nevis on Wednesday will then be taken to other events in the capital, Glasgow and Greenock.

The flame will visit the Tramway in Glasgow, Edinburgh Sick Children's Hospital and Meadowbank Sports Centre before a "Flame Festival" featuring a torch procession.

Scouts lit four flames atop the highest peaks of the UK to spark the Paralympic torch relay this week.

The cauldron will be ignited on the Mound beside a giant symbol of the Paralympic Games, known as Agitos, at 8am. It will be lit by Rosie Smith who was nominated by Capability Scotland after she led their first ever Ben Nevis event which involved teams of disabled and non-disabled people working together to climb the 1,344m (4,409ft) to the top of the UK's highest mountain.

Locog chair Lord Coe said: "Created at the summit of Ben Nevis, the Scottish Flame represents an achievement of human endeavour, which is something that every Paralympian represents. I invite the people of Edinburgh to show their support for the Paralympic torch relay as it travels around the city and help us to lead the way to the Paralympic Games."

Four scouts worked alongside climber Kevin Shields to light the flame using kindling and a large steel spark on Ben Nevis during the week. The flame was then placed in a lantern and brought down the mountain for its journey to Edinburgh.

After the celebrations in the capital the flame will be taken to the home of the Paralympic movement, Stoke Mandeville, before it is joined with the others created around the UK and carried in a 24-hour relay to London for the opening ceremony.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: "It is fantastic to see the flame coming to Edinburgh, and it's a great honour for the city to have the chance to celebrate what will be the biggest and best Paralympics ever.

"The talents, dedication and hard work of Scotland's torch bearers and ParalympicsGB is, quite simply, inspirational. I'd especially like to send my best wishes to the 26 Scottish Paralympians, and I know the whole country will be cheering them on throughout the Games."

Scottish sport minister Shona Robison also welcomed the flame.

She said: "I have no doubt the upcoming Paralympics will encourage disabled people's participation in sport and significantly transform disabled people's lives, ultimately leading to a more inclusive society for everyone to live in."

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