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Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Friday, 11 March 2011
Newcastle raises the flag for the 2012 Olympics
A series of sporting events will take place during the Olympic countdown

Olympic Gold Medallist Jonathan Edwards has helped Newcastle raise the flag for the London 2012 Olympics.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor David Faulkner joined the athlete to raise an Olympic flag outside the Civic Centre in Newcastle.

The flag is to mark the start of a series of events to celebrate the city's involvement in the games.

It is just over 500 days till the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games begin.

Newcastle will host nine games of the Olympic Football Tournament at St James's Park between 26 July 2012 - 4 August 2012.

Getting involved

Councillor David Faulkner said: "We are very proud that Newcastle is one of the host councils of the 2012 Games and it's a great honour that the Olympic Football Tournament will be played in our city.

Jonathan Edwards and Councillor David Faulkner
Nine games of the Olympic Football Tournament will be at St James Park

"We've got nine matches, we look forward to that - it will be a focal point for a great celebration and also some guests from all over the world."

The flag was hoisted by Jonathan Edwards and shows the London 2012 Olympic symbol in pink and white.

On either side of the flag is a Union Jack and a Newcastle City Council flag - they are all flying outside the Civic Centre.

Jonathan Edwards said: "When we went to Singapore to bid for the games, the philosophy behind it was not simply having the greatest sporting event on the planet come to the UK and it's great to see the football here in Newcastle, but to use it to inspire particularly young people to get more healthy and active.

"As I travel around the country and see here in Newcastle, there's so much activity, so much excitement around the games and it has been turned into a very positive activity.

"I think we can be as positive as we can be at this stage that there will be a lasting legacy from the games."

Active 500

Jonathan Edwards raising the flag
The three flags are flying outside the Civic Centre

As part of the Olympic build up, the council are running the Active 500 campaign - a calendar of sporting events to celebrate the 500-day countdown to the beginning of the games.

The themed sports calendar will be made up of open days, taster sessions and demonstration events delivered by various sporting clubs in Newcastle.

Councillor Faulkner said: "We want the 2012 Games to inspire the people of Newcastle to get involved in sport and physical activity.

"Our real role is to help get the best possible legacy out of the Olympics so we have a huge programme through Active 500.

"We're trying to get people in this city, clubs, individuals, organisations, communities involved in sport and healthy lifestyle right through from now till the opening of the Olympics."

Velodrome for 2012 Games opened
22 Feb 11 |  London 2012



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