Olympic torch brought to Stonehenge

Updated: July 12, 2012, 1:45 PM ET
Associated Press

STONEHENGE, England -- American track star Michael Johnson brought the Olympic flame to Stonehenge on Thursday, holding the torch aloft as the sun's rays ricocheted off the glowing stones.

[+] EnlargeMichael Johnson
Kieran Dohery/ReutersMichael Johnson, who carried the Olympic Torch to Stonehenge, called it an "incredible moment."

Dressed in the white torchbearer tracksuit, the retired gold medalist ran a circuit of the monument before passing the flame to an athlete at the beginning of her sporting career -- Amelia Clifford.

The 19-year-old won gold in the European junior championships last year in the 4-by-400 meter relay. She didn't get selected for the London Olympics, but will try again for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

"It was a great moment," said Johnson afterward. "The sun's out, the sun's rising, clear skies today, running with the torch which is incredible anyway, but running with it around Stonehenge was an incredible moment."

The sparkling July day was in sharp contrast to the recent weather in Britain, which slogged through its wettest June on record. Many fear that the damp could continue into the games period, which kick off on July 27.

Stonehenge is one of Britain's best-known and least-understood monuments. The prehistoric circle was erected over the past 5,000 years with stones hauled from a site in southwest Wales some 155 miles away.

Now a massive tourist magnet, its original purpose remains a matter of conjecture and debate.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press