Scottish Paralympic Flame arrives in Edinburgh


On Wednesday 22 August Scottish Scouts kindled a Paralympic Flame on Britain's highest peak, Ben Nevis in Fort William, to help start the Paralympic celebrations.

A group of Scouts completed the 1,344m (4,409ft) ascent of Ben Nevis in Lochaber, setting off just after 6am and arriving at the summit shortly after 11am. They struck a flint against a firesteel to spark a flame, which was delicately handled during the descent.

The Scouts involved in the climb included Explorer Scout Jason Ridgley, 18, from Thurso. Jason joined the Scouts aged 5 as a Beaver. A keen swimmer, at 13 he began showing signs of Scheuerman's Disease, developing a curve in his spine that left him in constant pain. In 2009, Jason had major spinal surgery to insert steel rods into his back. Before the operation he struggled to walk long distances – so climbing Britain's highest mountain and lighting the Paralympic Flame is a fantastic and inspirational achievement.

Jason was joined by fellow Scouts Joseph Tangnay, Christina Sheffield and Robyn Gunning, and instructors Gemma Grewar, Tom Bodley and Edward Brown.

Scottish Scouts spark city celebrations

Today the flame they created will be used to light a ceremonial cauldron on Edinburgh's famous Mound. It joins a large depiction of the Paralympic logo, Agitos, which was also unveiled earlier this week in a spectacular event that featured Scottish Paralympian Alasdair Hamilton, who shot an arrow at a target near the logo, setting off a tri-coloured fireworks fanfare.

The Flame will be the focus for a day of Paralympic celebrations in Edinburgh that started at 10am with a Sports Spectacular at Meadowbank Sports Centre. Edinburgh's citizens have been trying out Paralympic sports, meeting athletes and watching a host of sporting events including wheelchair tennis, football, wheelchair basketball, badminton, judo, athletics and fencing.

Later tonight the city will host an evening of entertainment and live music including a performance by Joe McElderry. A lantern procession of torchbearers will carry the Paralympic Flame to light the ceremonial cauldron on the Mound.

The onward journey

From Edinburgh, the flame will make its way to Stoke Mandeville, the home of the Paralympic Movement, where it will be united with English, Northern Irish and Welsh flames – also kindled on Wednesday atop Scafell Pike, Slieve Donard and Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa, respectively – to form a single flame that will start a 24-hour Paralympic Torch relay ahead of the opening ceremony on Wednesday 29 August.

The National Flames have now been to London, Belfast and Edinburgh. See tomorrow's news story for our coverage of the action in Cardiff.

Join in and inspire

If you you've been inspired by the London 2012 Games Makers or the Scouts helping to kick-start the Paralympic Games, get involved and volunteer by joining the adventure

Celebrate a great summer of Olympic and Paralympic events in Scout style by getting hold of your own Olympic scarf and badge. Check them out at Scout Shops

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