Mystery torchbearers search hits halfway mark

The search to identify 500 torchbearers without stories has hit the 50% mark, thanks to dozens of people scouring the list of names to find records elsewhere.

Among the names are well-known celebrities, sportspeople and individuals who have contributed to their community. But there are also IOC members, journalists and executives. Those confirmed include:

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 - Leanpub.com/8000holes

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 Leanpub.com/8000holes

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

Infographic: Where did the Olympic torch relay places go? What we know

Infographic: Where did the Olympic torch relay places go? What we know so far

Infographic by @carolinebeavon

An allocation of how the 8,000 Olympic torchbearer places were allocated has found that just 71% were allocated through the four main public campaigns.

The figure – published in the ebook 8,000 Holes - casts doubt on the promise by organisers LOCOG that 90% of places would be made available to the general public.  Continue reading

How the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay lost its way part 2: The presenting partners

Get the free ebook for the full story: 8,000 Holes: How the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Lost its Way - Leanpub.com/8000holes

In the second 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 how the presenting partners’ allocation of torchbearer places was handled. You can download the book for free – or choose to pay a donation, with all proceeds going to the Brittle Bone Society – at Leanpub.com/8000holes

Part 2: Getting your money’s worth

Once the Presenting Partners were able to start awarding torchbearer places, each handled their allocation differently.

As the only national presenting partner, Lloyds TSB allocated their places through two UK-wide campaigns: one through Lloyds TSB itself, and another through Bank of Scotland. The bank said they would give the opportunity to “people who have made a difference in their community”.

An analysis of the data on both banks’ official torchbearer sites, however, finds almost 500 of their 1,360 places unaccounted for, and when pressed, the bank admits that: Continue reading

How universities allocated their 3 Olympic torchbearer places from Samsung {updated}

Following our post on July 6 on THES’s report on vice chancellors carrying the Olympic torch, we can provide further background on the processes used to allocate torchbearer places.

At Brunel University a spokesperson explains:

Two places were for students and one for a member of staff.  We took a different approach to selecting each Torchbearer.

Firstly, we invited the 16 highest achieving students from the 2011 graduating class to submit a 300 word piece on why they would be a suitable person to represent the University as a Torchbearer.  We chose Ainsley Bell from the ten applications.  His story can be seen on the relay website.  It was quite compelling and an easy decision to make.

The second place was awarded to Michelle Quaid by the elected committee of the Union of Brunel students who had asked the students to nominate their classmates who have gone the extra mile for sport.  Michelle’s story is also on the website. Continue reading

Useful Olympic links for July 12th through July 17th

Here are the Olympic-related links we’ve been looking at over the last week from July 12th through July 17th:

  • Sam Fraser: The Torch Relay – The Olympic Ideal in Flames- And then arrives a convoy of coaches. One badged with Samsung logos, bearing pretty young girls waving and texting on Samsung phones. Next, a coach in the livery of Lloyds TSB bearing pretty young girls waving. No sign of any thanks for the bail out. Finally, a huge red float sponsored by Coca Cola, featuring a team of pretty girls waving and holding Coke bottles. They head up the drive where the coaches turn around and let all the pretty girls out for a loo break. Continue reading

Investigation into today’s torchbearers in German daily Der Tagesspiegel

der Tagesspiegel's story on the corporate Olympic torchbearers

German daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel has published a story on German executives carrying the Olympic torch after spotting our list of ‘mystery torchbearers‘ on the Guardian’s datablog.

The story, entitled ‘The Olympics and Samsung: Questionable selection of torchbearers’, was published on Sunday. In it, Claudia von Salzen writes:

“As the list of German participants shows, those people nominated by Samsung have apparently been accepted. This means that at least 18 German torchbearers have been chosen out of business interests. And therefore actually not because they had “excelled at special merits in the spirit of the Olympic idea”, as the company had announced in May.”

We’ve translated the entire article into English below: Continue reading

Identified: mystery German torchbearers in Bognor and elsewhere

A couple of newspapers recently reported on the number of Germans carrying the torch as it makes its way through Bognor – but neither identifies why they’re carrying the torch.

We can reveal that a number work for or have connections with Olympic sponsor Samsung.

Dirk Schafer carried the torch in Bognor. His image is the same as that used on a Samsung worker's LinkedIn profile.

Dirk Schafer carried the torch in Bognor. His image is the same as that used on a Samsung worker’s LinkedIn profile.

Dirk Schafer‘s profile on the official torchbearers site does not have any nomination story, but a poorer quality version of the same image is used in a social networking profile for the Sales Manager:

Continue reading

Russian executive carried the Olympic torch under someone else’s story

A 40-year-old Russian executive carried the Olympic torch through the Welsh resort of Towyn under the nomination story of a 61-year-old art director – despite having a different name.

Russian torchbearer Konstantin Geskin is named in both the BBC relay liveblog and The Voice of Russia as Konstantin Raykin, a film and theatre actor and director of a Moscow theatre. Continue reading

How to: identify mystery torchbearers

Despite the promise of 8,000 torchbearers “all with inspirational stories”, hundreds of Olympic torchbearers have been listed on the official Olympic Torch Relay site without any nomination story at all. We’ve identified dozens who share their names with senior staff at sponsor organisations and their commercial partners. Here’s how to do it through some advanced search techniques: Continue reading