News In Depth
Coe seeking 'royal wedding spirit'
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe has urged the British public to get behind the Olympic torch relay in the same spirit in which they got behind the royal wedding.
While he did not want to tell people "in an Orwellian way" how to celebrate, he said, communities would be advised on how to mark the passing of the flame through their local area during its journey around the country.
Initiatives have been launched "to help this process", he added.
Speaking as the full route of the relay was announced, he said: "I don't want to be prescriptive about this. We're not Big Brother sitting in headquarters telling people how to enjoy themselves in an Orwellian way."
Instead, he wanted to see local leaders organising celebrations at a local level, he explained.
"We saw the appetite around the royal wedding and that's what we're wanting to do," he said.
Communities will be given ideas about how to celebrate and, in a separate initiative called Get Set, school pupils will learn about the torch, its history and how to plan a local welcome for the torch bearers.
The flame will travel through 1,018 villages, towns and cities and will be within an hour's journey of 95% of the UK population.
But Lord Coe denied the route had been designed to take in such a large number of places in order to compensate all those who had missed out on tickets to any of the Olympic events.
"It was designed to get to as many people as we possibly could," he said.
Security around the torch relay will be tight, with an 11-strong convoy of vehicles likely to accompany it on its journey.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is working closely with the Metropolitan Police on security issues and local police forces around the country will also be involved.
"There will be concerns for the field of play and the moment-by-moment journey that the flame actually makes," Lord Coe said.
But he was confident the "right balance" would be struck and the policing operation around the event would be "classically proportionate", he added.
He was also confident the flame would continue to burn throughout.
"We've done a lot of testing on the flame," he said. "We'll have a team of flame experts every step of the way."
what do you think?
I always thought Steve Ovett was the better man. At least he hasn't spent the last thirty years filling living off former glories and being full of his own (imagined) importance.
lord coe get it into your head most people dont give a care about your stupid games much more important things in life like washing my hair and watching paint dry.