A very specific “general” public? How the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay lost its way part 3

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 third 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 the claim that 90% of torchbearer places would be available to the general public. 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 3: A very specific “general” public

Although news reports at the time said that 90% of all torch relay places would be “available to the general public”, a careful reading of LOCOG’s language and figures suggests that this was not entirely accurate. The chief executive of LOCOG was careful to say that places “were made available to the public through a number of channels, including the four public nomination campaigns run by Locog, Coke, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.”

With fewer than three quarters of places available through those four public nomination campaigns, the remainder would be allocated through other channels which restricted their availability to the ‘general’ public to varying degrees.

A small number of places were available if you met particular conditions. For example, if you lived under one of the 66 local authorities hosting evening events or “an Island visit requiring extra logistics”, you could nominate someone for one of a further 135 places – but this left over 100 local authorities without places.

There were 212 places for children who would be 12 at the time of the relay and went to schools in the Get Set Network. 83% of schools in London are a member of the network but in Wales only 43% of schools are members, and in Northern Ireland just 31%. A further 30 places – later 20 – were allocated to people taking part in the International Inspiration programme.

70 places were also divided between Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland, sportscotland and Sport Wales. But these bodies were explicitly told that they were not able to advertise places to the general public. So instead, they used internal channels, such as Sport Northern Ireland’s Activ8 programme.

Even once those places were added to the total, more than 21% of the 8,000 places remained. But when questioned about this, LOCOG insisted that they were “wholly confident” that 90% of torchbearer places did go to the general public.


Organisation Subcategory Places Source Details
LOCOG Moment to Shine 2012
Coca Cola Public? 1310 Spokesperson “Over 90% of our allocation going to members of the public through our Future Flames campaign.” Some Future Flames places went to judges on the five regional panels – these included representatives from sport, music and Coca Cola. 3 Live Positively places were directly invited. 37 places remain unknown
Samsung Public 1224 Samsung spokesperson “Approximately 90% of Samsung’s Torchbearers were carefully selected from the public through our global Torchbearer recruitment campaign”
Lloyds TSB Public 1156 Lloyds TSB spokesperson “85% [of the 1360 places] were made available to the public and 15% were awarded to Lloyds Banking Group’s employees who were nominated by other Bank employees”
LOCOG 66 local authorities hosting evening events, and 6 islands 135 http://www.london2012.com/media-centre/article=london-2012-offers-first-torchbearer-places-for-the-olym-1248340.html “66 Local Authorities hosting an evening celebration event or an Island visit requiring extra logistics on the Olympic Torch Relay”
LOCOG Sport England, Wales, Scotland and NI 70 http://www.london2012.com/media-centre/article=london-2012-offers-first-torchbearer-places-for-the-olym-1248340.html “people who assist with delivering grassroots sport in the UK”
LOCOG Get Set Network 212 http://getset.london2012.com/en/the-games/about-london-2012/the-london-2012-torch-relays/get-set-to-welcome-the-olympic-flame-primary/get-set-to-welcome-the-olympic-flame-secondary/get-set-to-support-a-torchbearer “young people from across the UK who will be 12 at the time of the Torch Relay through Get Set Networked schools that are part of the London 2012 education programme”
LOCOG International Inspiration 20 http://londonmediacentre.synapticdigital.com/Latest%20Stories/international-inspiration-candidates-to-be-torchbearers/s/647503d5-a3bc-4c7c-b382-140565f14155
TOTAL 6139
As % of 8000   76.7%  

Part 4 – on what happened to the remaining 21% of places – is published later today.

Be Sociable, Share!

One thought on “A very specific “general” public? How the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay lost its way part 3

  1. Pingback: How the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay lost its way part 2: The presenting partners | Help Me Investigate the Olympics

Comments are closed.