Olympic flame within reach of London Games chiefs

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ATHENS (AP) -- The chairman of London's Olympics Organizing Committee says he is excited at the prospect of taking possession of the Olympic flame and bringing it to Britain.

Sebastian Coe says that "once the flame is lit, for all intents and purposes, the Games start."

The flame was lit last week at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, and it will be passed on to the London organizers Thursday evening. London Mayor Boris Johnson and football star David Beckham will join Coe at the special ceremony.

Once in Britain, the flame will be taken on a 70-day relay, ending at the opening ceremony of the Games on July 27.