London 2012: Olympic torch to put spotlight on Plymouth

Image caption Belly dancers, Morris dancers and contemporary dancers gave Olympic festivities in Devon a lift when they joined in with members of the public at Haytor on Dartmoor

Plymouth will be in the spotlight on 19 May 2012 when the Olympic torch makes its first overnight stop after setting off from Land's End in Cornwall.

The city is holding a day of celebrations which will be followed by similar events in Exeter on 20 May, but organisers are hoping Devon people will have got into the spirit of the Olympics much earlier than that.

Pre-Olympics events kicked off in Devon last weekend when about 200 people turned out to dance on Dartmoor.

"Bring a picnic, enjoy the beautiful location, join in and have fun," was the call from organisers Dance in Devon.

The message from Team South West is that the Olympics will take place hundreds of miles from Devon, but people do not have to go to London to enjoy them.

There are also chances to sit back and enjoy shows on the Big Screen in Plymouth about the history of the Games and there is a list of events in Devon on the London 2012 site.

Devon schools are getting involved with the Get Set London scheme which has ideas for pupils and teachers.

South Devon College in Torbay has already held a two-day celebration of disability sport for 160 young people.

The Lithuanian swimming team and the Canadian diving team will be practising at the new £45m Life Centre, which is due to open in Plymouth in February.

Deborah Bertram of Team South West said: "The teams need somewhere to stay, food, drink and transport.

"There will be many people in the city for the arrival of the Olympic torch and that will have its own economic benefits."

Aiden Shipp, from Churston Ferrers Grammar School in Brixham, won a competition to create a badge version of the Olympic mascot Wenlock.

Devon businesses are already capitalising on the Olympics.

Plymouth heating company has been awarded a £130,000 contract to provide under floor heating systems to the Olympic Village in Stratford, east London.

Image caption Devon firm Dartington Crystal is producing Olympic glassware

Torrington firm Dartington Crystal has been awarded a licence to make crystal products to mark the Games.

Festivities surrounding the Olympic torch visit will culminate in a cauldron being lit from the flame.

But perhaps most of all, Plymouth is hoping to bask in the reflected glory of local diver Tom Daley, who is a favourite to win a gold medal.

Pat Murray of Team South West: "Tom's successes have already reflected well on Plymouth and the profile of the city.

"Success at the Olympics would put the city right on the map."

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