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Peaking for the 2012 Olympics; SNOWDON LIGHTS THE WAY TO LONDON ON UK TORCH RELAY.

Byline: MIKE JONES

THE Olympic torch's journey around the UK will reach its high point in Wales when it is carried to Snowdon's peak, organisers revealed today.

The summit is one of scores of Welsh locations the relay will visit as it makes a snaking journey to London's Olympic Stadium next year, passing within 10 miles of more than 95% of Britain's population.

On parts of the journey it will go via horseback, bicycle, tram and steam train.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has confirmed the 1,018 villages, towns and cities through which the Olympic flame will be carried by torchbearers. In Wales, the Olympic Flame will travel to Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea with the highest confirmed place on its route around Britain being Snowdon, by mountain railway, at 1,085 metres above sea level.

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said: "I am delighted that the summit of Snowdon will be the peak of the Olympic Torch's route in May 2012."

"As it travels around Wales it is not only a fantastic opportunity for everyone to be involved, but it will showcase the beauty of Wales to the world, so that many more people will see what a great social and cultural place Wales is."

Other UK landmarks will include Stormont, Loch Ness and Stonehenge.

LOCOG said the route will showcase and celebrate the diversity of the UK and give people a chance to "connect" with the Games.

Every local authority area in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and every county in England will host the flame.

Thousands of people are expected to welcome the flame each day and celebrate the achievements of the torchbearers in parks, squares and streets right around the UK.

Lord Coe, LOCOG chairman, said: "I'm delighted the Olympic torch relay will take the 2012 Games to almost every corner of the UK and that we have achieved our ambition to take the flame to within an hour's journey of 95% of the population.

Now everyone is invited to plan their welcome and find out where they can go to be part of this historic occasion.

"The Olympic Games are coming to you as the Olympic flame gives our people and places their moment to shine." A LOCOG statement said: "In fact, over 95% of the population will be within 10 miles of the Olympic flame."

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: "The flame's journey is steeped in the rich history of the Olympic Games, travelling from Athens then right around the UK. I encourage everyone to take part in the excitement of the torch relay."

The Olympic flame will be lit in Olympia in Greece in May and flown to the UK for the start of a 70-day relay at Land's End, Cornwall on May 19. It then travels 8,000 miles carried by 8,000 torchbearers, each picked because of a "personal achievement" or contribution to their local community.

On July 27, LOCOG expects the flame to travel down the River Thames to the Olympic Stadium for the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

* Visit www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelaymap WELSH ROUTE FOR TORCH List of Welsh places along the route of the Olympic Torch relay: FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012: Monmouth, Raglan, Abergavenny, Brynmawr, Blaenavon, Abersychan, Pontypool, Newport, Cardiff SATURDAY, MAY 26: Cardiff, Dinas Powys, Barry, Caerphilly, Pontypridd, Merthyr Tydfil, Treherbert, Ynyswen, Treorchy, Nant-y-moel, Ogmore Vale, Bryncethin, Bridgend, Laleston, Pyle, Margam, Taibach, Port Talbot, Briton Ferry, Neath, Swansea SUNDAY, MAY 27: Swansea, Llanelli, Burry Port, Kidwelly, Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Fishguard, Newport, Cardigan/Aberteifi, Sarnau, Brynhoffnant, Llanarth, Aberaeron, Llanon, Llanrhystud, Aberystwyth MONDAY, MAY 28: Aberystwyth, Bow Street, Tal-y-bont, Tre Taliesin, Machynlleth, Dolgellau, Llan Ffestiniog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Porthmadog, Criccieth, Pwllheli, Bontnewydd, Caernarfon, Y Felinheli, Bangor TUESDAY, MAY 29: Snowdon, Beaumaris, Menai Bridge, Conwy, Deganwy, Llandudno, Penrhyn Bay, Rhos on Sea, Colwyn Bay, Old Colwyn, Abergele, Towyn , Kinmel Bay, Rhyl, Rhuddlan, Connah's Quay, Shotton, Queensferry, Harwarden, Saltney WEDNESDAY, MAY 30: Wrexham, Rhostyllen, Acrefair, Trevor, Welshpool

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* The top of Snowdon will be the high point for the UK-wide Olympic torch relay next summer
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 7, 2011
Words:690
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