London mayor hands Olympic cauldron petals to India

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 26, 2012 10:00 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) London Mayor Boris Johnson Monday personally delivered a memento, copper petals from the London Olympic and Paralympic Games cauldron, to India's medal−winning athletes at a function here.

Every country which competed at the London Games was represented by a copper petal on the cauldron designed by Thomas Heatherwick. The petals are now being offered to each country as a legacy of their sporting achievements, and will be delivered around the globe before the end of the year.

In total, 204 Olympic petals and 164 Paralympic petals will be offered to competing nations.

Johnson Monday met V.K. Malhotra, acting president of the Indian Olympic Association, bronze medal winning boxer M.C. Mary Kom and silver medallist pistol shooter Vijay Kumar to present the petals at a ceremony hosted by the British High Commission.

"It's a wonderful honour for me to present these beautiful petals to India as a fitting memento of the achievements of Indian athletes in London this summer," Johnson said.

"The iconic, graceful Olympic cauldron is a potent symbol of the best of British engineering and design, and represents exactly the sort of skills we have to offer the rest of the world, in particular in emerging export markets such as India."

"As mayor, welcoming the world to our fantastic city for the Games was the experience of a lifetime. It's a pleasure to be able to bring these petals to Delhi as a gift from London to thank India for being part of our unforgettable summer," Johnson said.

India's petals were the third set to be presented. The first were handed over by Sebastian Coe, chairperson of the London Games organising committee, to the British Olympic Association, and the second to Brazil.

About 100 school children from Delhi took part in the handover ceremony.

The London mayor is on a five−day visit to India, accompanied by a delegation of top business people, to promote London as the destination of choice for investors and international trade. He will also visit Hyderabad and Mumbai.

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