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Canterbury left off first set of locations for Olympic Torch Relay route

Olympic flag
Olympic flag

by Adam Williams


Canterbury has missed out on hosting the olympic torch relay next summer.

The city was left off the list of 70 places revealed on Wednesday where the torch will stay overnight on its journey around the UK.

But it could still have its olympic moment when the full route fully confirmed in the autumn. The most likely scenario is a daytime visit on Thursday, July 19 next year as the flame passes between Dover and Maidstone.

Listen: Prof Mike Weed from Canterbury Christ Church University reacts to the Olympic Torch Relay route announcement.

London Olympic torch map
London Olympic torch map

The initial snub from London 2012 bosses has come as a blow to those working to bring celebrations to the city.

Prof Mike Weed, from Canterbury Christ Church University's sport, physical exercise and activity research department, was disappointed.

He said: “I work in Canterbury and I’ve seen lots of the things that have been done by the city council and other organisations to support the games.

“Canterbury has a lot to offer, so it’s unfortunate we haven’t been included yet.

“Dover’s an interesting selection as that’s where the flame first arrived in 1948.

“It’s not starting there this time, but it looks like it’s been selected because it chose to take up the offer of a big screen in the town as part of the Live Sites programme.

“Canterbury was given the chance first, but decided the big screen wasn’t in keeping with the city centre.

“That might have ended up costing the district an overnight visit.”

The city council tabled a bid to host the flame last year to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG).

It highlighted the district’s heritage and cultural selling points, including the new Marlowe Theatre and Beaney Institute and demonstrated a track record for hosting major sporting events, including the opening stage of the 2007 Tour de France.

Read more reaction to the announcement in this week's Kentish Gazette, out Thursday.

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