Lord Sebastian Coe and Paul Docherty with youth in Athens

Lord Sebastian Coe (center) and Paul Docherty (far right) visiting a school in Athens during a programme organised by British Council, on the occasion of the torch handover to London

Lord Sebastian Coe and Paul Docherty with youth in Athens

As the 2012 Olympic Games finally kick off, British Council Director UK 2012 Paul Docherty looks back on the highlights so far from this year's exciting Cultural Olympiad.

Luan with the Olympic torch (image credit: LOCOG 2012)

Luan with the Olympic torch (image credit: LOCOG 2012)

Luan with the Olympic torch (image credit: LOCOG 2012)

Luan, a Brazilian Young Leader with the British Council's International Inspiration programme, writes about his experience of being chosen to be an Olympic Torch Bearer on a recent visit to the UK.

Lucy volunteering at Olympic park.

Lucy volunteering at Olympic park.

Lucy volunteering at Olympic park.

Lucy Nacson-Jones blogs about the International Inspiration young leaders at the School Games, the passion that sport can ignite and its potential to unite thousands of people with this shared vision.

Sebastian Coe and David Beckham visit to Experimental Primary School of University of Athens (Partner school in British Council Greece educational Programs)

Sebastian Coe and David Beckham visit to Experimental Primary School of University of Athens (Partner school in British Council Greece educational Programs)

Sebastian Coe and David Beckham

Paul Docherty blogs about the hand over of the Olympic torch to the UK as the host nation, and how the UK's young representatives are helping to forge links between schools in the UK and Greece through the power of the Olympic ideals.

Jo Stewart, a British Council English teacher, reflects on her experiences taking part in the English Together summer school in Israel earlier this year. If you travel up the coastal road from Tel Aviv to Haifa, just north of Caesarea, and take a right onto Route 70, you’ll find yourself in the Carmel mountain ranges.