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

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

Olympic tickets ‘for young people’ given away to universities – after students have gone

50 tickets to Olympic events will be given to every higher education institution in the country as part of an “extension” of the Ticketshare programme to get young people to the Games – even though most students will have gone home for the summer.

The allocation is managed by the Further and Higher Education Unit for the 2012 Games, Podium, which has a commitment “to ensure that as many young people as possible get to attend the Games”.

And it seems that the students aren’t the only ones on a break – phonecalls to three members of Podium’s media team this week went unanswered when we tried to contact them about the initiative.

The announcement comes in the wake of reports that two-thirds of Olympic football tickets at Hampden Park remain unsold and that thousands of unsold tickets have been offered to sponsors after sales as a whole slowed down.

50,000 other tickets will also be given away to sport clubs, charities and youth projects in Scotland.

THES: Vice chancellors grabbing university Olympic torch places {updated}

Times Higher Education reports on senior university managers “getting in on the act” of carrying the Olympic torch, after Samsung allocated 3 places each to 31 universities.  Continue reading