8,000 people to carry the torch across the UK

FLAME Former Pompey player Chris Kamara carries the Olympic torch
FLAME Former Pompey player Chris Kamara carries the Olympic torch
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IT has travelled to the furthest corners of the country before reaching Portsmouth.

The Olympic flame, carried by more than 8,000 torchbearers, has been up mountains and down rivers on its journey towards London.

Before reaching the city on Sunday, the flame will have travelled from Southampton to Guernsey and Jersey.

And in the last two months it has travelled across the land on a constant relay through thousands of communities.

Lit in Greece, the flame arrived in the UK on May 18 and has been on its non-stop journey ever since.

In a strict ritual, the flame is lit from the sun’s rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, in a traditional ceremony among the ruins of the home of the Ancient Olympic Games.

Organisers say 95 per cent of the population should be within one hour of the route.

It comes to an end on July 27 with the lighting of the cauldron during the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in London.

The 80cm long torches carried by the torchbearers are triangular and made with a gold honeycomb pattern.

Torchbearers can buy their individual torches after the relay for around £200.