Olympic Torch hits peak over London

Amelia Hempleman-Adams posing with the Olympic Flame on top of a London Eye pod

Amelia Hempleman-Adams posing with the Olympic Flame on top of a London Eye pod

First published in National News © by

The Olympic Torch soared to new heights when it was held aloft on the London Eye.

Amelia Hempleman-Adams, who became the youngest person to ski to the South Pole when aged just 16, grinned from ear to ear as she held the flame on top of a capsule on board the giant wheel.

Illuminated by early morning sunshine, the 17-year-old daughter of adventurer David Hempleman-Adams held on tight as she raised the torch above the sleepy capital. And she kept a tight grip as she posed with the flame at a height much greater than nearby Big Ben, surrounded by bright blue sky.

The young explorer, who carried out her record-breaking expedition with her father last December, described holding the torch above the capital as a "once in a lifetime" opportunity.

The stunt was suggested to the teenager, who told the BBC: "I decided to see what I'd have to do, thought about it and decided to do it. It was amazing to look out and see the whole of London."

Amelia, who has tickets for the athletics and diving events, added: "The height was quite scary but you know you're safe so it's not too bad. It was a once in a lifetime experience, especially as the Olympics are in London. It makes it more special."

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis was the last torchbearer of day 65 of the relay, carrying the flame into Danson Park in Bexley.

He was greeted by cheers from thousands of people gathered for the evening celebration in the park, featuring performances from pop duo Rizzle Kicks and dance act Twist and Pulse.

Lewis, who won an Olympic gold medal in Seoul in 1988, raised the torch high above his head as he ran towards the cauldron before lighting it with his torch.

He told the crowds it was an "amazing honour", adding: "I feel proud and honoured to be able to carry the Olympic flame... I feel like I was carrying the Olympics in my hand and have now passed it on."

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