Olympic Torch Relay leaves Birmingham on Day 44Sports Birmingham , United States - 01 July 2012
It was an early start for the people of Birmingham on July 1, 2012 if they wanted to catch a glimpse of the Olympic torch as it left on day 44 of it's journey around the country to the Olympic Stadium.
At 6am young athlete Melissa Hanson was joined by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor John Lines, to restart the torch relay in Victoria Square before She headed down Colmore Row to pass the flame to Team GB Paralympian, and Lloyds TSB Local Hero, Ryan Cockbill. Ryan is from Great Barr is due to compete in the Air Rifle Target Shooting at the forthcoming London games.
The relay then took a route through the Bullring Shopping Centre where Laura Birkbeck drew a huge crowd of support as she carried the flame past the Bull and into St Martins Square for it's onward journey into Digbeth and Solihull. Seventeen year old Laura has has hemiplegia and epilepsy since the age of three and her determination and drive to battle on gave her the chance to be a part of the relay.
Many of the crowd that gathered took the chance for a great photo opportunity in front of the floral tribute to the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt. Created in wicker, draped in a floral Jamaican flag and in Bolt's legendary victory celebration stance the display will no doubt be a popular attraction during the Olympic period.