London 2012 offers first Torchbearer places for the Paralympic Torch Relay
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has announced the first 332 people who have been chosen to carry the Paralympic Flame as Torchbearers in the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay.
The majority of the Torchbearers announced today were successful through the public nomination campaigns run by BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s, as well as those chosen by the British Paralympic Association. They all sought to find teams and individuals from across the UK that who have demonstrated the Paralympic values of courage, determination, equality and inspiration.
Today three of the teams had a taste of what it will be like to be a Torchbearer in Trafalgar Square, where the English Flame will be lit on Friday 24th August at the start of the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay celebrations. They got to hold the Paralympic Torch for the first time and wear the uniform which was designed by LOCOG in association with London 2012’s official sportswear provider, adidas, which will be worn by all Paralympic Torchbearers.
The teams included:
- A team from Hackney who were nominated through the BT public nomination campaign for their passion, dedication and long term commitment to coaching a range of sports to aspiring disabled children
- A team of people from around the UK that were nominated through the Lloyds TSB public nomination campaign for their work in disability arts
- A team of parents and children connected with Stepping Stones Down Syndrome Support Group in Surrey who were nominated through the Sainsbury’s public nomination campaign
The inspiring stories of these teams of Torchbearers can be downloaded here, along with other case studies from around the country. A list of all the Torchbearers announced today can be found here. More Torchbearers and their stories will be announced in the coming weeks.
Seb Coe, Chairman of LOCOG, said:
“Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate someone in one of the three campaigns. For the first time we get to hear some of the inspirational stories of the teams and individuals that have been selected to carry the Paralympic Flame. Whether they have been together for years or have been brought together around a common story, they have all demonstrated how they are living the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.”
580 of the selected Torchbearers will light the way to the Paralympic Games by carrying the Paralympic Flame as part of one of 116 teams of five who will take it on its 24 hour overnight journey from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The remaining 40 Torchbearers will carry the Flame at the three Flame Festivals and at the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony. They have now been confirmed as taking place in the following locations:
- 25th August – Belfast – City Hall
- 26th August - Edinburgh – Inverleith Park
- 27th August - Cardiff – Roald Dahl Plass
- 28th August - Stoke Mandeville – Stoke Mandeville Stadium
As part of a new concept for the Paralympic Torch Relay, a Flame will be lit in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, using the energy of physical human endeavour. The four Flames will be united at the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.
Suzi Williams, Director, BT Group Marketing and Brand, added:
“At BT we’ve supported the Paralympics for decades. We understand the awesome power of Paralympic sport to inspire all of us, and that’s why we’ve brought teams of amazing people together to run with the torch this summer. This is their moment to be at the heart of a once in a lifetime experience.”
Sally Hancock, Director, 2012 Partnership at Lloyds Banking Group, says:
“The Paralympic Torch Relay provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the people who make a real difference within the disability community and involve them in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Our [Lloyds TSB/ Bank of Scotland] Torchbearers have truly inspirational stories and as the only Presenting Partner of both the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays we’re delighted that we can recognise so many incredible people from so many communities across the UK. “
Gwyn Burr, Customer Service & Colleague Director at Sainsbury’s said:
“We were overwhelmed by the stories of determination, inspiration and courage which were shared with us as part of our UK-wide nominations process and we are extremely proud to see the efforts of these incredible people rewarded with a genuine once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
36 communities from across the UK have taken the opportunity to host Flame Celebration’s over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Each celebration will be unique and have a flavour of the local area but will have the Paralympic values at its core. To find a celebration near you, visit www.london2012.com/paralympics/torch-relay/about/
London 2012 organises are encouraging over 13,000 Local Leaders to help light the way to the Paralympic Games. Local Leaders are encouraged to get people together to attend Flame Festivals and Celebrations or hold their own Light a Lantern event. To sign up to be a Local Leader go to: www.london2012.com/join-in/local-leaders/light-a-lantern/index.html
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
"Hearing the inspirational stories of these lucky torchbearers is a fantastic way to bring the Paralympic Games to life for the millions of fans who are eagerly awaiting this sporting spectacular.
"The excitement surrounding the Games will be at a high when the Paralympic torch relay kicks off in the capital, and it will be yet another opportunity for spectators to soak up the atmosphere and reserve a space at the heart of the action."