DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg welcomed the Olympic flame to Sheffield - and said the Steel City would play a unique role in the London games.
The Sheffield Hallam MP, who attended a ceremony at Sheffield Children’s Hospital with Lord Sebastian Coe, said: “It’s an honour to be welcoming the Olympic flame to our city.
“Today fires the starting gun for Sheffield’s Olympic celebrations, but the city’s hard work started a long time ago.
“By the time the opening ceremony begins, one in seven team GB athletes will have trained in Sheffield including Paralympic table tennis player Will Bayley, who is tipped for a medal win. And of course we all have high hopes for Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis.
“But this isn’t just about watching a great sporting spectacle on TV.
“Here in Sheffield more than 160 sports, education and community projects have been inspired by the Olympics - the Sheffield Academy of Young Leaders in Sport is recruiting young people to lead sports events in schools and Sheftival 2012 will see music, radio and sport take over Don Valley for the first weekend in August.
“Sheffield companies are also lending their expertise to make sure that, when the eyes of the world are on Britain, we take our moment to shine.
“Every building on the Olympic park is using timber provided by Sheffield firm Arnold Laver.”