Olympic Torch to be rowed down the Medway?

The Olympic Torch could be rowed along the River Medway as part of its tour of the UK, according to the Kent Messenger.

The Torch is scheduled to arrive in the UK on May 18 2012, before embarking on a 70-day national tour.

Eight thousand Torchbearers will carry the iconic Torch across the length and breadth of the nation, which the London Organising Committee of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games believes will see the Olympic Flame travel to within an hour of 95 per cent of the UK’s population.

The Torch is currently scheduled to visit Maidstone, Kent, on the penultimate day of its tour, and the Maidstone Olympic Committee is reportedly considering allowing the torch to travel through the centre of the town along the Medway in a rowing boat.

‘We hope to be able to carry the torch through the river section of Maidstone with majesty and splendour,’ Councillor Martin Cox told the Kent Messenger.

‘This means people will see a lovely historical part of town and its splendid river.’

The lighting of the Olympic Torch will follow a precise ritual – being lit by the sun’s rays at the Temple of Hera in Greece, before being handed over to London 2012 officials at a ceremony in the Panathenaiko stadium, Athens.

The Olympic Flame will then be passed from torchbearer to torchbearer across the UK ‘spreading the message of peace, unity, and friendship’, before being used to light the cauldron at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on July 27 2012.