London 2012 offers first Torchbearer places for the Olympic Torch Relay
90% of the total 8,000 Torchbearer places have been made available to people nominated for a personal best through a number of channels, including the four public nomination campaigns run by LOCOG and the three Presenting Partners of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay: Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. The remaining 10% of places are offered by invitation.
Over 5,600 inspiring people with an offer of a place today were selected through these four nomination programmes run earlier in the year. Each of the four campaigns focused on recognising and rewarding people with a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community with the once in a lifetime opportunity of carrying the Olympic Flame.
Next steps for people with an offer of a place today include accepting the date they have been offered to take part in the Torch Relay, providing a copy of specified documents, confirming their uniform size and any access requirements by 25 January 2012. Every offer of a Torchbearer place is subject to passing the required background checks and final confirmation of becoming a Torchbearer will be communicated by LOCOG by March 2012.
Next year’s confirmation of Torchbearer places will include the name of the town, village, city, or London Borough through which the Torchbearer is invited to carry the Olympic Flame. A further communication much closer to the time of the Torch Relay will confirm the details of the exact 300m (on average) stretch of the route along which the Torchbearer will carry the Olympic Flame.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said:
"Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate a friend, a colleague or a family member through one of the four campaigns. Today we are one step closer to giving thousands of people their moment to shine during the Olympic Torch Relay next summer. The sum of the individual stories of our Torchbearers will show the world that the Olympic spirit is alive and well right across the UK."
An average of 115 people a day will take centre stage next summer by carrying the Olympic Flame on its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Among the first people to be offered a place today include;
Moira Starkey, 84 from Storridge, Herefordshire, nominated through LOCOG’s public nomination campaign, who at 83 completed her first fundraising marathon by completing laps of her village hall;
Ciara Ennis, 14 from Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, nominated through LOCOG’s public nomination campaign who is a tireless fundraiser for good causes in her local community;
Holly Hamill,17 from Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland, nominated through Coca-Cola’s public nomination campaign who regularly represents the Gymnastics and Movement for People with a Disability British National Rhythmic Gymnastics team;
Cameron Foster, 16 from Wigan, Greater Manchester, nominated through Coca-Cola’s public nomination campaign who motivated by his own skiing accident and long rehabilitation, helps less able young people to get involved in sport;
Simon Brown, 32 from Morley, West Yorkshire, nominated through Lloyds TSB’s public nomination campaign who lost his sight saving lives of colleagues whilst serving in Iraq and now helps young people to come to terms with their loss of sight;
Elin Haf Davies, 35 from Gwynedd, Wales, nominated through Lloyds TSB’s public nomination campaign who was the first Welsh woman to row the Atlantic Ocean, and part of the first all female crew to row across the Indian Ocean, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity;
Darwin Bernardo, 23 from North London, nominated through Samsung’s public nomination campaign who works to identify opportunities for young people to engage with their local community and;
Matt Short, 20 from Tonbridge, Kent, nominated through Samsung’s public nomination campaign who was diagnosed in November 2007 with a rare form of bone cancer and has since set up and runs a charity to raise money for research into the disease.
Detailed case studies of these eight individuals and a further 21 people from across the UK who have an offer of a Torchbearer place can be downloaded from the Downloads section.
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said:
"Huge congratulations to all those with an offer of an Olympic Torchbearer place. They are an exceptional group of individuals and it’s an honour for us all that these people are one step closer to carrying the Olympic Flame on its exciting journey around the UK."
Over 60,000 nominations were received across the four nomination campaigns. Each campaign incorporated a rigorous selection process and the nominations were read and evaluated by independent selection panels. Those who have not been successful with a nomination are invited to join the journey to the London 2012 Games by becoming a Local Leader.
James Quincey, President, Coca-Cola Northwest Europe and Nordics, said:
"We have been overwhelmed by the thousands of outstanding nominations that we have received as part of our Coca-Cola Future Flames campaign this year. It's been truly inspiring to learn about the many different ways young people are spreading happiness in their local communities, and we're very excited to now be offering some of these people the once in a lifetime chance to carry the Olympic Flame next summer."
Sally Hancock, 2012 Partnership and Group Sponsorship Director, Lloyds Banking Group, said:
"Following the success of the Lloyds TSB London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer nomination campaign, we were overwhelmed by the many thousands of inspiring stories of good deeds, selfless acts and contributions to communities across the UK and the level of excitement about the ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to become an Olympic Torchbearer. The Olympic Torch Relay provides a wonderful opportunity for communities the length and breadth of the U.K to get involved with the Games and celebrate people in their local area who have made a difference. We are inviting everyone to cheer on the Olympic Torch Relay with Lloyds TSB as it travels past their doorsteps next year."
Mr. Gyehyun Kwon, Vice President & Head of Worldwide Sports Marketing, Samsung Electronics, said:
"We believe, as a Presenting Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, that it is our duty to ensure that the Olympic Flame reaches the world. Our Olympic Torch Relay campaign is designed to invite, include and involve the greatest number of people possible in the world's most exciting festival. The response to our Olympic Torchbearer nomination campaign has been astonishing and we are exceptionally proud of the tens of thousands of local heroes that we have discovered and that have now been recognised by their friends, colleagues and families. While only a few can be selected for this unique opportunity to carry the flame, we acknowledge every nominee as an inspiration to their communities. The fortunate few that will run next year are a tribute to all those who go the extra mile for others. Samsung applauds them all."
The additional conditional offers made today are to people who also have a story of personal achievement or contribution to the local community. 135 offers have been made to local heroes put forward by the 66 Local Authorities hosting an evening celebration event or an Island visit requiring extra logistics on the Olympic Torch Relay; 70 offers go to people who assist with delivering grassroots sport in the UK who have been selected by Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland, sportscotland and Sport Wales; 205 people have an offer of a place through the BOA; 71 people through the IOC and 678 people through the other London 2012 Games commercial partners.
A further 1,200 conditional offers will be made by LOCOG and the three Presenting Partners in January 2012. For example LOCOG will find 212 young people from across the UK who will be 12 at the time of the Torch Relay through Get Set Networked schools that are part of the London 2012 education programme, 30 young people through the International Inspiration Programme, 115 high profile Torchbearers and community role models. The Presenting Partners’ remaining allocations make provision for direct invitations to high profile Torchbearers.