From the heart of the Olympic Park, The National Lottery today launched its London 2012 Games hot air balloon, which will embark on a nationwide tour this summer.
Lifting off at the Olympic Park, the hot air balloon took its first tethered flight with Olympic canoeing gold medallist, Tim Brabants, Olympic gymnastics bronze medallist, Louis Smith and Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medallist, Tasha Danvers onboard. The hot air balloon will visit cities throughout the UK, giving members of the public the chance to fly in the balloon, accompanied by elite athletes.
Over £25 million a week is raised by Lottery players for projects across the UK that make a real difference to people’s lives. The National Lottery is contributing up to £2.2 billion to fund the infrastructure and the venues for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and their legacy, as well as enabling around 1,400 talented British athletes to benefit from world-class coaching and support through UK Sport's World Class Performance Programme.

Peter Keen, Director of Performance at UK Sport, said: “Lottery funding has changed the face of sport in the UK and has contributed to a total of 438 Olympic and Paralympic medals for Great Britain since 1997. The hot air balloon tour is a great way for the public to meet local elite athletes, and for those athletes to be able to thank Lottery players for their support.”

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