The Olympic Flame arrives in London in an
arrival worthy of James Bond
The Olympic torch has arrived in London after a 63-day trip around the British Isles – in a scene akin to a James Bond film.
The flame was delivered to the Tower of London by a Royal Marine Commando who abseiled from a helicopter carrying it in a lantern.
Marine Martyn Williams arrived at Tower Wharf in a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter, and undertook the 180ft descent from the aircraft at 20:12 hours – to mark the year of the Games.
He held the flame up proudly for media representatives gathered to witness its arrival in the host city, with seven days to go until the start of the Games.
The 23-year-old, who comes from Ipswich, was chosen to deliver the torch as he had been badly injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, but fought his way back to fitness.
Dame Kelly Holmes then lit a torch and took the flame around the ramparts of the historic landmark, stopping to be photographed as she went.
Large numbers of security personnel were on hand, including numerous other Royal Marines.
Having arrived at what is arguably the safest place in the capital, the flame is spending the night in the most secure room within the Tower – Jewel House, where armed guards defend the Crown Jewels.
The 11th century Tower had already been pressed into Olympic service as a secure location where medals have been stored ahead of the Games.
The flame’s arrival was welcomed by London Mayor Boris Johnson and Lutfur Rahman, the mayor of Olympics host borough Tower Hamlets.
Mr Johnson said that as the torch goes on its London tour “its radiance will dispel any last remaining clouds of dampness and anxiety that may hover over some parts of the media in this country”.
He added: “It will spread the crackling bushfire of Olympic enthusiasm throughout this city and the country.
“I pledge that we will keep that flame burning brightly, that it may illuminate the many wonderful things about our city and our Olympics, tonight and tomorrow and in the weeks ahead.”
The Tower is not its final resting place – the torch will end up at the Olympic Park after being paraded through every London borough over the next week.
Around 8,000 torch-bearers – including the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Phillips – will have carried the flame when it reaches its final destination next Friday.