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Eyes now on us as Boris flies to Beijing to take Olympics baton for 2012

PUBLISHED: 13:58 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:33 05 October 2010

MAYOR Boris Johnson has left London today (Wednesday) for China to carry out his formal duty to accept the Olympic flag from Beijing's Mayor at Sunday's closing ceremony—knowing the world's eyes are now on us. His packed itinerary includes meetings to learn lessons about hosting the Games which are being held in East London in less than four years' time, as well as promote London and attract investment and strengthen trade links

MAYOR Boris Johnson has left London today (Wednesday) for China to carry out his formal duty to accept the Olympic flag from Beijing’s Mayor Guo Jinlong at Sunday’s closing ceremony—knowing the world’s eyes are now on us.

His packed itinerary includes meetings to learn important lessons about hosting the Games which are being held in East London in less than four years’ time, as well as promote London and attract investment and strengthen trade links.

“This trip marks the point when the eyes of the world start turning towards London,” he said.

“I want to make sure many of those eyes belong to businesses and investors who will see what great potential our capital offers.”

Before leaving, Boris set a date for a victory parade’ through the streets of London for Britain’s Olympic medal winners returning from the Beijing Games.

He has set aside October 16 “to honour our sporting heroes and heroines” following the UK’s best Olympics for more than 90 years.

Boris hasn’t worked out all the logistics yet, but is now working with the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association to organize the celebration.

British Olympic chief Simon Clegg said: “This parade is a fitting tribute to the outstanding achievements of the whole team, who have collectively delivered the most successful Games so far since Antwerp in 1920.”

Britain’s Paralympics team, meanwhile, is also flying out to the holding camps this week as the final preparations for Beijing’s Paralympics get under way, boosted by the confidence from the 16 golds, nine silvers and eight bronzes their able-bodied team-mates had picked up by Tuesday afternoon.

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