Who are the mystery torchbearers? Crowdsourcing with Guardian users

UPDATE: Now over 60% complete.

The Guardian have published our list of the 500 torchbearers lacking a nomination story, with an appeal to users to help identify the 400 or so yet to be identified. Of the other hundred or so that we’ve already looked at, around a third share names with senior figures at sponsor organisations and commercial partners.

But we figured many eyes on the problem would help.

Among those already ticked off the list thanks to contributions via email and Twitter are Vegard Killingland (nominated through the Coca Cola campaign), David Heeley (a well known blind marathon runner whose nomination was originally turned down but later awarded following a public campaign), and fundraiser Derek Chisnall. There’s also a Mexican rock star – and more leads to company directors. UPDATE: One German daily newspaper used the list to find executives nominated by Samsung.

Many commenters on the article have pointed out the more obvious sportspeople and celebrities, such as Gordon Banks, Gethin Jones and Ruby Walsh. These were identified in the article itself or the linked HMI spreadsheet (not The Guardian’s), but it’s clear we should have been more explicit about the fact that those had already been identified, and that the focus was on the names that weren’t immediately recognisable.

You can access the full data here – post a comment, tweet @HMIolympics or email paul@helpmeinvestigate.com to add details.

Mystery torchbearers – the pictures

Most of the hundreds of torchbearers who have no nomination story have no picture either. But the table below shows those who do.

Can you help identify them? Here’s how: Continue reading

Get the data: Coca Cola’s US torchbearers for “health, community, environment”

23 of the places that Coca Cola allocated through public nomination went to these US citizens through the Live Positively campaign. As part of our investigation into how places were allocated, we’ve re-presented the data in a more usable format.

The Live Positively site provides nutritional information on Coca Cola products to medical professionals, including information for patients on low-calorie sweeteners (PDF). Continue reading

Get the data: Aggreko torchbearers

Last week we reported on the company where 4 out of 7 executive directors were carrying the Olympic torch.

As part of our process of investigating the allocation of torchbearer places, we’re publishing the data behind that investigation.

This is most likely not an exhaustive list – if you know how many places the company was allocated, please let us know. You can also find a list of employees who have made an impression on the company in their 2011 annual report (PDF), which may contain others.

UPDATE: We have had a tip off that the ‘torch kiss’ between Tom Sreeves and Simon Lyons on Day 26 represented another two Aggreko directors: a Tom Sreeves is also Director of Manufacturing for the company and lives in the same area (his story has since disappeared from the official torchbearer site but is still cached).

If Simon Lyons ever appeared on the official site, it would have been taken off equally quickly, as his name was never caught in any of the sweeps made of the official site by Help Me Investigate. But he is named on the BBC liveblog as receiving the torch from Tom. And he shares his name at least with Aggreko’s Director of Marketing and Communications.

Also appearing without any nomination story is Simon Thompson, who our source suggests is Aggreko’s legal adviser, and certainly the company does have one listed here. Can anyone help confirm or deny?

Previous update: also listed is Philippe Boisaubert, who shares details with the company’s MD for Continental Europe.

Here’s the data:

Samsung torchbearers disappear from London2012 website

A cache of the original nomination story for Samsung's Sven Eric Durr

Screengrab of the cache of the original nomination story for Samsung’s Sven Eric Durr. The story has since disappeared from the London2012 website

Nine Olympic torchbearers nominated by Samsung have been airbrushed from the London2012 website.

The MD for Samsung Mobile UK and Ireland, the Chief Operations Officer at Samsung Africa, and the President and CEO for Samsung in Southeast Asia, Oceania and Taiwan are among seven individuals who are no longer listed on the site. Continue reading

Cumbria’s torchbearers – mapped

Mapping Cumbria's Olympic torchbearers - click to see the interactive version

Map 1: Cumbria’s Olympic torchbearers – click to see the interactive version

Following a request from the Cumbrian Newspapers Group, we’ve been cleaning and mapping data on torchbearers from Cumbria.

One map showing where the torchbearers from the area are concentrated is shown above – click the image to explore the interactive version. Continue reading

Who are EDF’s missing torchbearers?

French energy company EDF were given 71 places on the Olympic torch relay – including the group’s former director of HR and communications, Yann Laroche.

As part of our process of trying to identify how spaces were allocated by sponsors, we’re looking to list them all. Of those nomination stories made public, we can find 19 who mention the company or have been identified elsewhere – listed below.

Most have inspiring tales of volunteering, fundraising, sporting achievement – or all three. They include John Saunders, who publishes a blog about life with motor neurone disease, and Anshul Sharma, who was nominated twice. Do you know who the other 52 are?
Continue reading

Public didn’t get “90%” of torchbearer places, figures reveal {updated}

Updates follow original post below

The commonly-quoted figure that 90% of torchbearer slots were “available to the public” is wrong, an analysis of official figures suggests.

According to LOCOG statistics published by ITV News, torchbearer allocations were distributed as follows:

  • “33% of places held by LOCOG (total 2,640)
  • “17% of places to each of the three Presenting Partners (total 1360 each)
  • “16% of places shared between the IOC (total 117), BOA (total 250) and other Games commercial partners (total 913).”

Based on the above numbers, commercial partner slots alone represent 11.4% of the total. Only 84% – not 90% – have been allocated to members of the public through various competitions and nomination processes. This represents 480 people who have missed out on promised slots. Organisations who are not Presenting Partners cannot allocate torchbearer slots publicly.

UPDATE (June 12, 10am): A spokesperson for London2012 confirmed the figures and adds:

“The BOA and IOC and some of the commercial partners in the 16 per cent allocation also put forward members of the public too e.g. grassroots sports coaches, athletes, long-term supporters of Games and existing customers in case of commercial partners.”

However, as only Presenting Partners can accept nominations from members of the public, it’s not clear how other commercial partners would have been able to do so.

The statement appears to contradict figures previously in documents from organisations including the BOA, which explicitly states that its own places are separate from those available to the ‘general public’:

“90% of these slots will be allocated to the general public through each [Presenting Partner] company’s own public selection process. The remaining 10% has been allocated to other deserving bodies, of which the British Olympic Association is one.”

It’s also not clear how London2012 could be confident that the extra 6% of places were “made available to the public”. We are awaiting a response explaining what processes were in place to monitor that.

UPDATE (June 12, 7pm): A further response states the following:

“90% of the 8,000 Torchbearer places are made available to the public through a number of channels, including the four public nomination campaigns from LOCOG, Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.

“The 16% share is made up of core stakeholders, for example, the IOC, BOA and commercial Games partners. Some of these stakeholders could also put forward members of the public, for example, long-term supporters of the Games and sports coaches.

“The rights packages for some partners included a small number of Torchbearer places that had to be filled through internal campaigns, for example, from existing customer and staff pools.”

The spokesperson does not address the question of what processes were in place to monitor any allocation of places to ‘members of the public’ in this way.

We have asked again for clarification on that process, specifically whether LOCOG can identify the 480 members of the public who may have been given torchbearer spaces through routes other than those previously outlined.

How we investigated Olympic sponsor torchbearers

Cross-posted from The Guardian Datablog:

Our investigation into Olympic torchbearer stories has unearthed some surprising choices by sponsor organisations. But how did we get to that point? The answer is a combination of curiosity, cynicism and knowing when to ask for help.

Here’s how it went: Continue reading