London 2012 Olympic Games Torch Relay :
Torchbearers inspire a new generation
Torchbearer Peter Jack arrives
at the Giant Causeway,
With a little more than a month for the greatest sporting event in
history, the London 2012 Olympic Games to get off the ground with a
spectacular opening ceremony , we decided to enlighten you about the
Olympic torch relay that is currently on,,, Some of you may be already
tracing the route as the Olympic torch makes its journey through towns
and cities across the UK to the Olympic Stadium in London. Let’s find
out some interesting facts about the history of the torch and how and
when it all began ...
The Olympic Torch Relay and Paralympic Torch Relay signal the start
of each Games held every four years. The flame for the Olympic Torch
Relay began its journey in Olympia, Greece. The Olympic Flame, Torch and
Relay draw on a history going back to the ancient Olympic Games in
They were important elements of the cultural festivals surrounding
the Olympic Games of Ancient Greece. During the ancient Games, a sacred
flame burned continually on the altar of the goddess, Hera. In addition,
heralds were summoned to travel throughout Greece to announce the Games,
declaring a sacred truce for the duration.
Greek actress Ingo Menegaki (R) playing the role of
High Priestess lights the Olympic flame.
A very precise ritual for the lighting of the Flame is followed at
every Games. It is lit from the sun’s rays at the Temple of Hera in
Olympia, in a traditional ceremony among the ruins of the home of the
ancient Games. After a short relay around Greece, the flame is handed
over to the new Host City at another ceremony in the Panathenaiko
stadium in Athens. The handover of the Olympic Flame is a key milestone
for each Olympic Games as the Torch Relay rallies the world’s athletes
to make their final preparations. When the flame travels between
countries it goes by train or plane, but when it arrives at a city that
will take part in the Relay, it is carried by a torchbearer, who runs or
travels holding the flame up high. it is transferred from one
torchbearer to another, spreading the message of peace, unity and
The moment the torch enters the stadium is the highlight of the
Opening Ceremony. At each Games, one person is chosen to be the final
torchbearer, which is a very important job. The final torchbearer does a
lap of the Stadium and then uses the flame to light the Cauldron. The
flame stays lit until the Closing Ceremony. At the Beijing 2008 Olympic
Games, the Cauldron was lit by Olympic Gymnast, Li Ning, and the
Paralympic Cauldron was lit by Chinese triple jumper, Hou Bin.
At the Athens Handover Ceremony the Olympic Anthem was sung by local
children, five torchbearers carrying the flame around the Stadium before
lighting the ceremonial cauldron, and five young UK representatives
being handed olive branches by young people from Greece.
The flame for the 2012 Games will be carried by 8,000 inspirational
people as it journeys across the UK. Nominated by someone they know, it
will be their moment to shine, inspiring millions of people watching in
their community, in the UK and worldwide. There are many children too
among these torchbearers .
Torchbearer Jessica Wade holds the Olympic Flame in front
of the ‘Another Place’ sculptures by Antony Gormley on the beach
at Crosby. Jessica Wade, 15, from Liverpool, was nominated for
her time and dedication given to animals in need.
The first torchbearer, Ben Ainslie, holds the Olympic flame and
waves to the crowd before he begins the first leg of the Torch
The Flame travels by lifeboat;The Beaumaris RNLI lifeboat crew
assist Torchbearer Elen Evans as she carries the Olympic Flame
across the Menai Strait.
David Beckham lights the cauldron to mark the arrival of
the Olympic Flame in the UK.
Footballer Yves Didier Drogba carries the Olympic Flame
The flame left Athens on May 18 to arrive into the UK at RNAS
Culdrose, near Helston, Cornwall at approximately 7.30pm.
On the morning of May 19 the Olympic Flame traveled to Land’s End for
the start of the 70-day London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. It is expected
to travel 8,000 miles across the UK and reach the Olympic stadium. The
flame has a long journey to make after making its way to London by
plane; it has to travel via train and boat too to reach it’s final
destination .Assisted by the Beaumaris RNLI lifeboat crew torchbearer
Elen Evans carried the Olympic Flame across the Menai Strait on Day 11
of the relay to the summit of Snowdon, where it was then carried by
mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington. Many famous athletes and personalities
as well as those nominated for their numerous achievements will continue
to carry the torch until the start of the Games on July 27.
Design of the 2012 torch...
The torch was designed by east Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby,
who won the opportunity through a competitive tender run by the London
2012 Organising Committee and the Design Council. Basildon-based product
engineers Tecosim, Birmingham-based LPG Gas specialists and
manufacturers, Bullfinch and Coventry manufacturers Premier Sheet Metal
have taken the design and moved it into mass production.
In April 2012 the torch was recognised as the Design of the Year at
an awards ceremony hosted by the Design Museum.
The triangular-shape of the 800mm high torch has been inspired by a
series of ‘threes’ that are found in the history of the Olympic Games
and the vision for the Olympic Movement .
The “Power of 3 ” played a key role because of the following reasons.
*The three Olympic values of respect, excellence and friendship;
* The three words that make the Olympic motto – faster, higher,
*The fact that the UK hosted the Games in 1908.1948 and will host the
Games for the third time in 2012 and
*The vision for the London 2012 Olympic Games to combine three bodies
of work – sport, education and culture.
The torch is made up of an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin,
held in place by a cast top piece and base, perforated by 8,000 circles
representing the inspirational stories of the 8,000 torchbearers who
will carry the Olympic flame.
The circles which run the length of the body of the torch also offer
a unique level of transparency. You can see right to the heart of the
torch and view the burner system which will keep the Olympic flame alive
on its journey around the UK. The torch has been being tested in BMW’s
climatic testing facility in Munich to make sure it can withstand all
weather conditions. BMW is a Supporting Partner of the London 2012
Olympic Torch Relay.
As more than half of the torchbearers are expected to be young people
aged as young as 12, the designers aimed to make the torch as light as
possible. It is made from an special aluminium alloy developed for the
aerospace and automotive industry. The alloy is lightweight but strong,
with excellent heat resistance. The 8,000 circles also reduce the weight
of the final design, whilst ensuring strength isn’t compromised. The
torch weighs 800 grams.
The gold colour embraces the qualities of the Olympic Flame – the
brightness and the warmth of the light that it shines.