It’s quite remarkable, in hindsight, to think no one predicted the outcome of this stunt. As the Olympic torch splashed through the canoe slalom venue in
Hertfordshire today on board a raft as part of its journey around the country, spraying water splashed out the famed Eternal Flame.
Day 50 did not go smoothly for the for the torch relay, after a motorcycle crash earlier forced the first delay then celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s turn carrying the flame was interrupted by a rain storm.
In the first setback for the day, the torch convoy was held up for 20 minutes after two motorbike riders collided near Chelmsford, Essex, at around 7.40am, and had to be rushed to hospital with suspected broken bones.Ambulances and a fire engine were called, and convoy doctors treated the male and female riders at the scene before the relay was able to proceed.
Later, the torch arrived at Lee Valley White Water Centre near Waltham Cross, the canoe slalom venue, where it suffered the further hiccup.‘It is not uncommon for a flame to go out and this can happen for a number of reasons,’ a LOCOG spokesman said.
‘In this instance it was due to water being splashed into the boat from the slalom course.
‘It was relit from the mother flame, which is kept in a specially designed miners’ lantern and successfully taken down the course on the second attempt.’
However, this wasn’t the first time the Olympic flame has gone out as it made its way through the UK. Back on May 21, the flame on a torch attached to para-badminton star David Follett’s wheelchair burned out while in Devon.
In another early hitch to proceedings, the flame was blown out by a gust of wind as it was being lit for the first time in Greece. It had to be relit before being handed to a torchbearer.
Today the relay was travelling from Chelmsford to Cambridge, en route to London for the Olympic opening ceremony.
Athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are expected to participate. The Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee, which had planned to continue functioning after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, had its membership withdrawn by the IOC Executive Committee at the IOC session of June 2011. However, Dutch Antillean athletes who qualify for the 2012 Olympics will be allowed toparticipate independently under the Olympic flag. Listed below are NOCs who have qualified at least one athlete. As of 6 July 2012, 200 countries have qualified at least one athlete.
Yet to qualify
As of 6 July 2012, these 4 NOCs are yet to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics:
The 2012 Summer Olympic programme features 26 sports and a total of 39 disciplines: