The people of Scotland have given the Olympic torch relay an “overwhelming and incredible welcome” as it begins its route through the country, the Secretary of State for Scotland said today.
Michael Moore said the reaction to the flame, which arrived in Cairnryan from Northern Ireland yesterday evening, showed how the spirit of London 2012 could be felt across every community in Scotland.
The Torch relay will travel over 120 miles from Stranraer to Glasgow on its first day here and be carried by 129 Torchbearers, ending in an evening celebration in George Square. They included a serving British Army soldier, Olympians and members of the public and the Scottish actor James McAvoy.
The Secretary of State said:
“The response to the Torch relay on its arrival and first day in Scotland has been incredible. No one can doubt the way London 2012 is gripping the imagination of every community across the UK and that spirit is reflected in the turnout and support for the flame everywhere it goes.
“This really is an event for the whole of the UK and the reaction of people in Scotland shows that we are behind the Olympics. With less than 50 days to go, that excitement will continue to build. I am very much looking forward to welcoming the torch in Edinburgh and in the Borders next week and to the start of the Games themselves.”
It will continue through Scotland over the next fortnight:
- Glasgow - Fri 8 June
- Inverness - Sat 9 June
- Orkney - Sun 10 June (including John O’Groats)
- Shetland - Sun 10 June
- Isle of Lewis - Mon 11 June
- Aberdeen - Mon 11 June
- Dundee - Tue 12 June
- Edinburgh - Wed 13 June (including St Andrews and Forth Bridge)
- Selkirk/Galashiels - Thurs 14 June
- Dumfries - Thurs 21 June
Over the 70 days of its Relay, the Olympic Torch will travel within 10 miles of over 95 per cent of the UK population. An estimated 2.4 million have now turned out to see the Torch in the UK.