London 2012 release details of Olympic Torch Relay
By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
May 26 - London 2012 today announced that the Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK on Friday May 18, 2012, and will travel around the UK for 70 days, arriving in London the weekend before the Games begin on July 27.
Up to 8,000 torch bearers will be selected with over half of the places expected to go to young people.
There will be a torchbearer nomination process, expected to be announced in May 2011, giving people across the UK the chance to be involved in this historic countdown to the start of the London 2012 Games.
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said: "The Olympic Torch Relay heralds the start of the London 2012 Games, bringing people across the UK together to celebrate the spirit of the Games.
"The London 2012 Torch Relay will connect people and places; young people to sport and the UK to the rest of the world.
"We will be working closely with villages, towns and cities the length and breadth of the UK to ensure that as each community welcomes the Olympic Flame, they do so in a way that is unique and special to their area."
As the Torch Relay travels around the UK, visiting different communities and cultures it will connect people to the Olympic Games, its heroes and its spirit, Coe said.
Up to 95 per cent of the British population will be within a one hour journey time of the route,officials promised.
The event is to be sponsored by TOP partners Coca-Cola and Samsung and Lloyds TSB, a Tier One London 2012 sponsor.
Hugh Robertson, Sport and Olympics Minister, said: "The Torch Relay will bring the spirit of London 2012 to every corner of the country and give everybody the chance to experience first-hand the excitement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"I also hope that it will inspire a new generation of people, and particularly young people, to take up sport."
London Mayor Boris Johnson, said: "The Olympic Flame is the most recognisable symbol of the modern Games and has an awesome history tracing back to ancient Greece.
"Its arrival on our shores in May 2012 marks not only the start of the London Torch Relay, but arguably the start of the most important three months in the capital's recent history.
"Representing peace and unity, the Torch Relay is yet another 'once in a lifetime' opportunity in 2012 for ordinary Londoners and visitors to come together and celebrate this historic and exciting moment."
Sanjay Guha, the President of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, said: "We are thrilled to be sponsoring the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
"We know from firsthand experience that the Torch Relay helps to inspire a whole country to get involved in the spirit of the Games.
"We intend to use the London 2012 OTR to shine a light on the best of British youth and encourage people to get involved in their local communities.
"We look forward to giving young people from across the UK the chance to carry the Olympic Flame.
"Anyone interested in finding out more about Coca-Cola and the Olympic Games can register now on Coke Zone at www.cokezone.co.uk/olympics."
March 2010: London 2012 appoints Freud to head PR team
March 2010: Plan for London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay to visit Dublin backed
May 2009: Rugby School bids to host Olympic Torch Relay in 2012
April 2009: Felixstowe fears it could become target if torch visits
March 2009: International leg of Olympic torch relay banned