The 21% of torchbearer places that were allocated outside of public campaigns: 8,000 Holes Part 4

Get the free ebook for the full story: 8,000 Holes: How the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Lost its Way -

In the fourth part of a serialisation of Help Me Investigate’s first ebook – 8,000 Holes: How the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Lost its Way we look at what happened to the thousands of torchbearer places that were allocated outside of public campaigns. You can download the book for free – or choose to pay a donation, with all proceeds going to the Brittle Bone Society – at

Part 4: The 21%

Between December 2011 and June 2012 the numbers of torchbearer places being awarded by bodies other than the Presenting Partners and LOCOG increased by a third. The International Olympic Committee‘s share of places saw the biggest change, going up by half – from 71 according to a December press release to 117 six months later, while commercial partners other than the three presenting partners – dozens of companies including Dow Chemical, G4S, Atos and BT – saw their share go up from 678 places to 913. Continue reading

Twitter’s UK general manager nominated to carry Olympic torch by IOC {updated}

Twitter's Tony Wang Olympic Torchbearer tweet

UPDATE: A spokesperson for Twitter says:

“I’m not sure why the nomination paragraph on Tony isn’t on the site. That’s probably a question for LOCOG. Tony wasn’t nominated by a company, he was asked by the IOC to represent Twitter and its role in bringing athletes and fans closer together.”

The general manager of Twitter in the UK got to carry the torch today – and, naturally, tweeted about it too.

It’s not clear why he carried the torch, as Wang not only doesn’t have a nomination story – he is not even listed on the official torch relay website.

Twitter recently announced a partnership with NBCUniversal to “serve as a hub for digital communications” about the Games. Last month the social network closed a satirical account following a request from Locog.

We are awaiting a response from Twitter with more details on the reasons for Tony’s nomination.

Samsung, Locog and the IOC have all invited journalists and media executives to carry torches this year.

H/t Lyra McKee

Document: Host City Contract

The Olympic Games are awarded by the International Olympic Committee seven years before delivery after an intense bidding process between other candidate cities (something that I will be writing about further in the coming weeks). When the rights to host the Games are handed over to the winning nation, an Organising Committee is formed and the host city contract is signed between them and the IOC, promising that the certain measures are undertaken to ensure the smooth and consistent delivery of the Games.

When we hear stories about changes to bylaws, opportunities to allow stakeholders such as sponsors access to VIP services (like the Olympic Lanes) and to develop on particular land area, many of these decisions were made very much in advance of the bidding process and signed off as being a ‘given’ in terms of the development process. This is because the IOC see the Olympic Games very much as their ‘baby’ and in a way, is the only product that they have to see to the world. The exclusivity of access and association to those internationally recognised five rings.

If you have questions about why particular things are happening for London 2012, then you can almost always find those details set out in the host city contract. It is available, thanks to Games Monitor, here as a PDF.