Somerset

Paralympic lantern arrives in Bath ahead of celebration

The Paralympic lantern arrived at Bath spa station
Image caption After a celebration event the Paralympic lantern will remain on display in Bath

The Paralympic lantern has arrived in Bath as part of celebrations to mark the start of the London 2012 Paralympic torch relay.

It arrived via train at Bath Spa station at 14:00 BST before heading to the Assembly Rooms by horse-drawn carriage for a civic reception.

On Saturday, a 2,000m lantern relay will make its way through the centre of Bath and into the Recreation Ground.

There a special evening event will take place, one of 34 across the country.

Double-gold medal winner Steve Brunt, ParalympicGB's Flame Ambassador, was one of those who arrived with the lantern having collected it from the Paralympic flame lighting ceremony in London's Trafalgar Square.

Labour councillor Rob Appleyard, chairman of the council, said the event was a "great opportunity" to celebrate all those who represent the "Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality".

Eight lantern bearers - chosen from nominations made by the community - will take part in Bath's relay, exchanging the Paralympic flame from one bearer to the next.

Leanne Cole, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour as a toddler, will carry the flame from the Mineral Hospital to the Empire Hotel.

"I'm just so excited that my granddad nominated me," she said.

Blair Hannan, a sailor hoping to be part of ParalympicsGB in Rio in 2016, said Bath had deservedly been recognised for its work with disabled athletes.

"Bath is an excellent centre for sport. It's great that it all comes together and that Bath is getting that recognition," she said.

Entry to the Paralympic celebration at the Rec is free but tickets must be obtained in advance.

After the event, the Paralympic lantern will be put on public display in the Sun Lounge at the Pump Room, Bath, from Sunday to Tuesday.

The London 2012 Paralympic Games runs from 29 August until 9 September.

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