Olympic Torch Relay route revealed

07 November 2011 / 12:00


The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today confirmed all the communities through which the Olympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay which is presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.


The announcement of the 1,018 villages, towns and cities on the route means LOCOG has realised the aspiration of taking the Olympic Flame to within an hour’s journey time of 95% of the population. In fact, over 95% of the population will be within just 10 miles of the Olympic Flame next summer. The street by street detail of the route will be confirmed next year.


LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in each Nation and Region to devise the route. Not only does the route include villages, town and cities, the Olympic Torch Relay will also take in hundreds of landmarks; from the famous to the unexpected; natural to the man-made; historical to the modern and will showcase and celebrate the diversity of the UK. By visiting different communities the Olympic Flame will connect the people of the UK to the Olympic Games, its values and its spirit.


LOCOG has also announced a selection of the modes of transport by which the Olympic Flame will be carried along sections of the route and hinted at some of the exciting challenges that the Olympic Flame and some of the Torchbearers who carry it will face along the way.


Travelling by different methods of transport including horseback, bicycle, tram and steam-train, the Olympic Torch Relay will also include exciting moments with extreme heights, high speeds and breath-taking spectacles. Every county in England and every Local Authority area in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will host the Olympic Flame, with welcomes reaching as far north as Lerwick in Scotland to St Helier in the south, Lowestoft in the east and Enniskillen in the west. Well known landmarks including Snowdon, Stormont, Loch Ness and Stonehenge will be visited by the Olympic Flame. Many thousands of people are expected to welcome the Olympic Flame along the route each day and celebrate the achievements of the Torchbearers in parks, squares and streets right around the UK.


A list of the host communities and a selection of key moments announced today, images of the Torch and a short CGI digital fly through film that gives a taste of the journey are available for download here.  People are invited to view the interactive map at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelaymap to find their nearest community through which the Olympic Flame will be carried.


Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: ‘I’m delighted that the Olympic Torch Relay will take the 2012 Games to almost every corner of the UK and that we have achieved our ambition to take the Flame to within an hour’s journey of 95% of the population. Now everyone is invited to plan their welcome and find out where they can go to be part of this historic occasion. The Olympic Games are coming to you as the Olympic Flame gives our people and places their moment to shine.’


Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: ‘When the Olympic Flame arrives here in the UK on 18 May next year it will mark the final countdown to the greatest sporting event the country will host in our lifetime. The Olympic Torch Relay will be an amazing opportunity for people to see the Olympic Flame in their own towns and communities. The Flame’s journey is steeped in the rich history of the Olympic Games, travelling from Athens then right around the UK. I encourage everyone to get out and take part in the excitement of the Torch Relay as it comes through their town.’


The Olympic Flame will be lit in Olympia in Greece in May 2012. British Airways is a Supporter of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the Olympic Flame will arrive into the UK from Greece on 18 May 2012 on board one of its aircraft.


The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them.


The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers each of whom will have a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community. In December this year, successful nominees will be contacted with a conditional offer and final Torchbearer places will start to be confirmed from February 2012 onwards.


On the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is LOCOG’s intention that the Olympic Flame will travel down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.


Today LOCOG launches two new public participation programmes. The ‘Local Leaders’ initiative is an invitation to people across the UK to take the 2012 Games into their community and create their own celebrations next year, for the Olympic Torch Relay and other key moments during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. People are encouraged to sign up to the Local Leader programme at www.london2012.com/localleaders to receive further information on a range of themed celebration ideas focusing on the Opening Ceremony evening, gardening, quizzes and barbecues and be in the front row to receive free London 2012 event materials.


Also launched today is the ‘Get Set for the Olympic Torch Relay’ education resource, available to all schools registered with Get Set, London 2012’s official education programme. The aim of the resource is to provide schools with cross-curricular resources aimed at teachers working with 3 to 16 year olds to aid learning around the history of Olympic Torch Relays, the design of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the Torch itself. A further resource will launch next year to encourage schools to plan a welcome for the Olympic Flame and show support for the Torchbearers. Lloyds TSB, official Education Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, has launched its Flame Followers schools programme which complements the Get Set resources, and gives schools once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be right at the heart of the excitement and celebrations of the Relay.


The three Presenting Partners of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay – Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung – will help bring the Olympic Flame to the people of the UK. Together they provide an optimum mix of previous Olympic Torch Relay expertise and community based programmes to support the staging of the Relay.


James Williams, Director, Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola North West Europe and Nordics, said: ‘London 2012 will see Coca-Cola presenting the Olympic Torch Relay for the eighth time, so we know just how powerful it is at uniting a whole country in support of the world’s biggest festival of sport. In 2010, we saw far-flung communities right across Canada really come together to welcome the Olympic Flame, and now we can’t wait to bring that magic to cities, towns and villages the length and breadth of the UK. We’re very excited to be bringing music and celebration to the Relay, and to be shining a light on the best of British youth – our Coca-Cola Future Flames – throughout local communities around the UK.’


Sally Hancock, Director, 2012 Partnership and Group Sponsorship at Lloyds TSB, said: ‘As the National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is helping to bring the Olympic Flame closer to communities across the UK. With branches on practically every High Street we’re inviting everybody to celebrate the Relay with Lloyds TSB as it travels past their doorsteps next year.  Young people and schools can also get involved through our Flame Followers programme and National School Sport Week (www.lloydstsb.com/london2012) and we’re looking forward to giving everyone the chance to share the excitement in each of these villages, towns and cities as the Flame passes through.’


Mr. Gyehyun Kwon, Vice President & Head of Worldwide Sports Marketing, Samsung Electronics, said: ‘We are extremely proud to be a Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games.  As a Worldwide Olympic Partner, Samsung will support each of the 1,000 villages, towns and cities as they celebrate their own Olympic Torch Relay moment, and help showcase the nation’s cultural landmarks along the way.’