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

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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

Corporate torchbearers from Turkey and Oman – journalists, execs

When the torch reached Yorkshire Sebastian Coe proclaimed that “every time somebody picks up that Torch, there’s an extraordinary contribution that sits behind their story. This is exactly what we set out to achieve – and to get the flame to as many people as we could.”

Omani torchbearers nominated by Samsung include the first Arab to scale Mount Everest; the first Arab woman to trek to the North Pole, and the first female rally driver in the Gulf, as well as a founder of an online youth platform, an environmentalist, and a “social advocate” for children with special needs.

But they also included Robert Swift, “a marketing manager from Etisalat” and David Butorac, “a renowned TV industry hero”.

Turkish torchbearers nominated by the company included celebrity nominees – an actress and a rock singer – and sportswomen – the first Turkish woman to compete in the Winter Olympics and a prominent swimmer.

But two-thirds of their nominees were made up of “Journalists Cengiz Semercioğlu and Şelale Kadak … and [unnamed] prominent names from civil society “who made a difference”.”

One of those is “Deniz Yılmaz Atakay, the coordinator of the PKU Family Foundation”


Turkish torchbearers – image from

The list in total includes:

“the soloist of Mor ve Ötesi, a music ensemble Harun Tekin, the first sportswoman who represented Turkey at the Winter Olympics Kelime Aydın Çetinkaya, national swimmer Emre Muşluoğlu, columnists Cengiz Semercioğlu and Şelale Kadak, the founder chairman of the Alternative Living Association Ercan Tutal, coordinator of the Family Association of Turkey Deniz Yılmaz Atakay, academic Deniz Nur Ural, education advisor Mustafa Çakıroğlu, cultural manager Tuna Yılmaz and university student Cem Arslan.”

Tool: Self-Accredit with #media2012 to gain access to report on London 2012

Having trouble gaining access to accreditation to report on the London 2012 Olympic Games? You can self-accredition is now open with with #media2012, an independent newswire and social media centre for covering the Olympic Games.

This follows the self-accreditation process in Vancouver 2010, where over 300 people used True North Media House passes to gain access to communities, institutions and stories around the Winter Olympics, #media2012 encourages journalists, media producers and citizen journalists to sign up to report on all aspects of the Olympic Games across the country. Find out who is working in your area here.

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