Olympic Flame passes historic Canterbury Cathedral
The Olympic Flame passed the historic Canterbury Cathedral on Thursday, as the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay continued its journey around the British Isles ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Day 62 of the 70-day relay began in Deal, in Kent, with inspirational Torchbearer Katherine Batts carrying the Flame on Deal Pier. Katherine was nominated for her voluntary work with the City of Rochester Swimming & Lifeguard Club over the last 14 years, while she has also served as lifeguard coordinator for the Kent branch of the Royal Life Saving Society for the past 18 years.
From Deal, the Torch Relay moved on to Sholden, Sandwich, Great Stonar, Cliffs End, St Lawrence and Ramsgate, where former Olympic javelin thrower Steve Backley carried the Flame. Steve is one of Britain’s most successful Olympic athletes, winning bronze in Barcelona in 1992, silver in Atlanta in 1996 and silver in Sydney in 2000. To date, he is the only British track and field competitor to win a medal at three consecutive Olympic Games.
After passing through Broadstairs, St Peters and Cliftonville, the Relay arrived in Margate, where artist Tracey Emin carried the Flame past the Turner Gallery. Tracey – who designed one of the official London 2012 posters – was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize in 1999.
The Relay then moved on through Westgate-on-Sea, Birchington-on-Sea, Upstreet and Sturry before arriving in Canterbury, where the famous Cathedral became the latest British landmark to provide a backdrop for the London 2012 Torch Relay.
After passing through Thanington, Faversham, Challock and Harrietsham, the Flame arrived in Maidstone, where an evening celebration was held at Leeds Castle, featuring a variety of entertainment, including a performance of The River Runs Through, commissioned by Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council and performed by local children and adults. It performance told the story of Maidstone through the ages, using the iconic images from Maidstone's coat of arms.
The last Torchbearer of the day – Julia Chilcott, a foster carer for Kent County Council – then lit a celebration cauldron on stage so the Olympic Flame could be seen by the audience.