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Patriotically decorated nails become one of the visual motifs of the Games.224.
By the time they have left at the end of the Games, athletes at the village will have consumed 2.7 million Fairtrade bananas, 682 tonnes of seafood, 25,000 loaves of bread and 75,000 litres of milk.225.
He is quickly helped back up by the accompanying security team and onlookers cheer him on.201 Another torchbearer, David State, stops mid-relay to go down on one knee and propose to his girlfriend.202 There is occasional disruption from protesters.
A man with a bucket of water is tackled by the security team in Leeds; Republican protesters block the route in Londonderry; a teenager tries to grab the torch in Gravesend, Kent; and a streaker with "Free Tibet" written on his back gatecrashes the convoy in Henley-on-Thames.203.
Londoners are not convinced.172 The same month, an Australian senator, Kate Lundy, makes a bet with Hugh Robertson, the UK's sports minister, over whether Australia or Team GB will finish highest in the medals table.
Robertson agrees that if Team GB finishes lower, he will jog round Australia House wearing a green and gold Australian hockey jersey.
One woman who got a new tattoo to celebrate her role in the Olympic torch relay is shocked to discover Olympic has been spelled "Oylmpic".212.
The Flame travels an average of 110 miles each day.215. Up to 16,260 athletes and officials are accommodated there.220.
Evening celebrations for the relay are held in 66 towns and cities. Between them, they use 64,000 bed sheets, 22,000 pillows, and 11,000 sofas.221 But there are only 444 kettles - and 5,000 lavatory brushes.222 The average floor space for each athlete is 16 square metres.223 It also has a nail bar, which proves spectacularly popular with the athletes.
THE TORCH RELAY183 On , the Olympic torch is lit, by the sun's rays, at the Temple of Hera at Olympia.184 After a week-long journey round Greece, it is handed over to a British delegation that includes Princess Anne, Boris Johnson, Lord Coe and David Beckham.185 It arrives on British soil, at Land's End, on 18 May and on 19 May the Olympic sailing star Ben Ainslie becomes the first of 8,000 torchbearers to run a 300-metre leg of the torch's 70-day journey around the UK.186 The 12,800km journey takes it to most corners of the British Isles, and is said to pass within an hour's journey of 95 per cent of the population.187 Each torchbearer gets a different torch, and has the option to buy it afterwards.188 The three-sided torches are 800mm tall, weigh 800g and are perforated by 8,000 holes.189 They were designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.190 Some of the torchbearers - 700 in all - are athletes and celebrities.191 This group includes Rupert Grint, David Beckham, Matt Smith, Will.i.am, Jedward, Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, Andy Murray, Steve Redgrave, Daley Thompson, Zara Phillips and Lord Coe.192 The remaining 7,300 are "ordinary" people nominated by the public.193 Nominations for torchbearers had to be 150 words long,194 Fifty per cent of the torchbearers are under 24.195 The average age of torchbearers is 37.5 years.196 After some initial scepticism, public enthusiasm for the relay gradually builds, as the stories of the individual torchbearers become more widely known.197 Moments that stir onlookers include the time when Ben Parkinson, 27, an injured war hero from Doncaster, carries the torch for 300 metres on computerised legs.198 Elsewhere, the late PC David Rathband's daughter, Mia, carries the torch in his place.
She is blindfolded in his honour.199 BBC producer Stuart Hughes, who lost the lower part of his right leg in Iraq, runs part of the Olympic torch relay wearing his carbon fibre blade prosthesis.200 Kieran Maxwell, 13, who lost part of his left leg owing to Ewing's Sarcoma, falls over while carrying the torch.
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THE STORY BEGINS28 The tale of London 2012 starts in 1995, when the British Olympic Association decides that the capital will be the next British city to bid to host the Olympics.29 There have been three other such bids from British cities since 1948: by Birmingham (for 1992) and by Manchester (for 19).30 In 1997, 2012 is chosen as target date.31 In 2003, US businesswoman Barbara Cassani is put in charge of the bid.