A year ahead of the Olympic Flame’s arrival in the UK on Friday 18 May 2012, we launched the first part of the route along with the search for the 8,000 inspirational people who will carry on its 70 day journey - a search we need youto help us with.
The public reaction has been extremely positive. People in the cities and towns that will play host to the evening celebrations are delighted they’ll have the chance to welcome the Flame, and they’re right to be excited. Having witnessed the response to the Vancouver Torch Relay, I know first-hand the impact that the Flame has as it spreads its message of peace and friendship and offers communities their moment to shine.
How did we choose where the Torch is going?
The first thing to say is that this is just the beginning. We have only announced the first part of the route - the 66 cities that will host evening celebrations and the six islands we will visit.
A lot more detail will be announced later in the year. We are already confident that the Flame will visit hundreds of communities across the UK, from inner city areas to beautiful rural landscapes, from coastal towns to small villages. Overall our aim is for 95% of the population to be within a one-hour journey of the Flame.
We thought long and hard about which would be the best places to host evening celebrations. As these will be the areas where we stay overnight, logistics dictate that they be towns and cities with the infrastructure we require. There is a large crew needed to deliver the Torch Relay, and we need to feed and accommodate them all each night! We also want to make sure that as many people as possible can enjoy the celebrations, so holding them where there were larger numbers of people made sense.
And who will be carrying the Flame as it travels roughly 110 miles each day?
Well, that’s largely up to you. We are searching for the 8,000 most inspirational people in the UK. We are asking the public to get nominating and put forward the stories of the people that they think deserve to carry the Olympic Flame. People who always push beyond their personal best, be in that sport, in their community, or whatever else it is that they’re trying to do. Go online and nominate someone today to give them their moment to shine!
The Olympic Torch Relay. It gives me tingles down my spine thinking about those moments that will be created right across the UK, about the stories that will come out through nominations.
There’s no going back now...but then again, I can’t say that I’d want to...