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Olympic flame lights up St Andrews

The Olympic torch made a special visit to the University of St Andrews today (Wednesday 13 June 2012) as part of its historic 70 day relay across the UK.

Torch bearer Mark Beaumont, the record-breaking cyclist, was welcomed into St Salvator’s Quadrangle in the early hours of this morning by members of the local and University community.

Mark Beaumont with the Olympic torch

Accompanied by the University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson, Chancellor Sir Menzies Campbell and Fife Provost Jim Leishman, Mark arrived just after 7am and relit the torch using a Fife miner’s lamp, before running a circuit around the ancient Quadrangle.

Welcoming the event, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Richardson said, “The motto of the University of St Andrews is the Greek term ‘aien aristeuein’ – ‘ever to excel’.. this could well serve as the motto of the Olympic Games.

“Successful athletes like successful scholars need discipline, talent, hard work, commitment, dedication and passion for their sport or subject.  We at the University of St Andrews like to think that we are very old; older than all other Scottish universities, older than most organisations in the country, but we’re not older than the Olympics.

Mark Beaumont with the Olympic torch

“It is wonderful to be part of this historic occasion. We at the University are very proud of our Olympic connections, we recently gave honorary degrees to Sir Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy, who also studied here.  Several of our students competed in the Olympics, especially in the 1948 games, and of course, our very own Chancellor, Sir Menzies Campbell, represented Britain in the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo.

“The Olympics bring the world together.  Over 200 countries compete, and the Olympic flag with its five coloured rings – ensuring that every flag of every country in the world is represented – symbolises the Olympic ideal of peace and pursuit of excellence.  I am delighted that we as a community could come together this morning to celebrate the Olympic ideal.”

Local children on the West Sands with the Olympic torch

Following the whistle-stop tour of the University, the torch made its way to the West Sands, where local children recreated the famous Chariots of Fire beach run scene.  To watch the event visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18411077

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