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London 2012 Olympic Games Torch Relay :

Torchbearers inspire a new generation



Torchbearer Peter Jack arrives
at the Giant Causeway,
Northern Ireland.

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 Greece.

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 friendship.

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 relay.

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, stronger;

*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.

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