The Olympic torch relay is now in full swing! Since 19th May and until 27th July, thousands of people will line the streets to see the Olympic torch pass them. For many people this will be a once in a lifetime chance to get a glimpse of the famous torch and an all important opportunity to be part of the 2012 Olympic Games.
For those of us living outside of London, the Olympic Games can seem rather distant from our everyday lives and the impact of the games even further away. Away from the disruption of the building works and stadium and shopping centres, it is almost easy to forget that the games are coming to the UK at all.
Sadly, people were left disappointed after applying for the sporting tickets and the even more sought after opening ceremony. Thankfully, the torch relay means that everyone can get a bit of Olympic fever because as the torch tours the UK, it will travel to within 1 hour of 95% of the population. So without the cost and inconvenience of travelling to London, everyone can have their very own memories of the London 2012 Olympics.
The flame was ignited on the 10th May 2012 in Greece at the Temple of Hera, Olympia, the home of the Ancient Olympic Games. Once it arrived in the UK it started its journey at Lands End in Cornwall, and travelled into Devon and through Worcestershire before entering Wales at Monmouthshire on day seven. The torch then spent the next four days touring Wales, through Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Bangor. From there it was into Chester before heading back into Wales then to Stoke-on-Trent. Tonight the flame will enter Liverpool and the occasion is due to be celebrated with a waterfront spectacular for which 10,000 free tickets have been allocated.
The journey so far is just the tip of the iceberg. The torch has another fifty seven days of travelling before it will be displayed centre stage at the Olympic Opening Ceremony on 27th July. During the journey, over 8000 people will have the honour of carrying the torch and it will travel a total distance of about 8000 miles. The selection process started last year and people were chosen after a process of nomination which asked communities to submit the names of inspirational individuals. The chosen torchbearers include fifteen year old Daniel who has raised thousands of pounds for a children’s hospice and twenty year old Nick Giles nominated for his passion for sport.