The experience of the torchbearer – and the executives who carried the Olympic torch on just one day – 8,000 Holes part 5

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

In the final part of the 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 story affected one inspirational individual who did carry the torch – and the executives who carried the torch on the day the torch passed through Jack Binstead’s borough. You can download the book for free – or choose to pay a donation, with all proceeds going to the Brittle Bone Society – at

Part 5: 8,000 Holes

In June 2011, when the design for the official Olympic torch was unveiled, the Chair of LOCOG Sebastian Coe had said:

“The Torch that carries the Olympic Flame during the Olympic Torch Relay is one of the most recognisable and significant symbols of an Olympic Games. Members of the public right across the UK are busy nominating inspiring people to be Torchbearers and I am thrilled we have a beautifully designed, engineered and crafted Torch for them to carry.

“Integral to the design are the 8,000 circles, a lasting representation of the Torchbearer stories of personal achievement or contribution to their local community that will be showcased with every step of the Relay.”

But too many of those 8,000 circles turned out to be merely holes where local heroes should have been. The “message of inclusion” which the torch was supposed to represent had been replaced with a repeated message of exclusion. At almost every point where places were split up, a proportion was siphoned for allocation through non-public processes, whether the 15% of Lloyds TSB places for staff; the 10% of Samsung’s places; Coca Cola’s nomination judges carrying the torch as Future Flames, or the corporate partners who rewarded board members and business partners. Continue reading

Olympic torch relay missed “youth” target – by over 1,000 places

Olympic torch relay organisers are over 1,000 places short of meeting the promise that over half of Olympic torchbearers would be young people aged 12-24, according to an analysis of data in the official site.

Of just over 7,000 torchbearers published on the site by July 24, only 2,272 – 32% – are under 25. The proportion has remained consistent since details were first published in late May, but even if the other 1,000 torchbearers were under 25, the final proportion would be 40% – still well short of the target set at the relay’s launch.

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