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 →
How many stories can a set of data hold? When it comes to Olympic torchbearer data, after three weeks I’m still counting. From company bosses exchanging ‘torch kisses’ and mapping Nottinghamshire torchbearers to chief executives ignoring official advice not to take Olympic torchbearer places, the dataset is a data journalist’s dream. Continue reading →
The newspaper combines the story with one previously reported in This Is Staffordshire (but not credited): that of local torchbearer James Taylor, whose place was withdrawn two weeks earlier due to ‘failing Home Office checks’, despite Taylor having no criminal record and passed CRB checks previously.
The piece suggests that Taylor’s withdrawal may be connected to the fortuitous scheduling that allowed the two bosses to carry the torch on sequential legs of the relay.
“Having had this done on him as angered me even more, his sporting and the family’s reputation has been marked along with his broken spirit, I do hope the people who decided to do this to my son feel shame.”
It was This Is Staffordshire’s David Elks who found the image of the two corporate torchbearers when we approached him to ask if the newspaper had any images of those carrying torches through Stafford.
Torchbearers do not normally have any control over where or when they carry the torch.
Tom Peck contrasts promises made by Sebastian Coe and Boris Johnson with the reality of the choices of torchbearer made by adidas and other sponsors, including details which HMI Olympics will reveal later this week. Continue reading →
Adidas have admitted that the general manager of sports clothing retailer Intersport and the Group Product Director for Next are among a number of people carrying the torch on behalf of the company for working “in the business of sport for a number of years”.
“Carrying the Olympic Flame is a once in a lifetime experience and I am grateful to be selected. To carry it on behalf of adidas, a company with a history of encouraging participation in sport, is an added bonus. I have been engaged in the business of sport for a number of years and I hope I have also contributed to the development of sport in our country.”