As Cornwall prepares to celebrate the historic arrival of the Olympic Flame at RNAS Culdrose on the evening of 18 May with up to a billion people from across the world expected to watch as it leaves Land’s End the following morning on the start of its 8,000 mile journey around the UK, details of the route the Flame will take through Cornwall and the names of the inspirational Torchbearers who have been chosen to carry it have been announced.
There is already growing excitement across Cornwall about this once in a lifetime event, with the 21 communities along the route hard at work developing their plans.
Today’s announcement by LOCOG of the streets along which the Olympic Flame will be carried in Cornwall and details of the Torchbearers has added to this sense of excitement.
“This is a hugely important day for Cornwall as we will be in the spotlight for both the arrival of the Olympic Flame and the first day of the Olympic Torch Relay” said Chris Ridgers, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for economy and regeneration.
“The Olympic and Paralympic Games is the biggest event in the world and we want as many people as possible to get involved by taking part in local events and lining the streets to cheer the Olympic Flame on its journey through Cornwall.
“Today’s announcement of the individual streets and roads the Torchbearers will be running through really brings the whole route to life and means that people can now make their plans on where to go to see the Flame and witness the amazing spectacle of the Olympic Torch Relay”.
It is still not too late for local communities to organise events and activities. For more information please contact Anna Druce, Project Officer - Olympic Torch Relay Cornwall on 01872 322871 or e mail email@example.com.
The Torchbearers confirmed to carry the Flame today include those that were successful through the public nomination processes run by LOCOG and the Presenting Partners, Coca Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.
LOCOG has endeavoured to slot all community Torchbearers within an hour of their nomination address so family and friends can cheer them on.
Each Torchbearer will wear a white and gold uniform which been designed by Adidas.
Student and professional surfer Tassy Swallow, from St Ives, was nominated as a Torchbearer by members of her local community because of her efforts teaching children from a wide range of backgrounds to surf. One of seven children, Tassy has travelled widely, spending time in six different continents so far. She is the youngest Sports Ambassador for Cornwall and has represented Great Britain four times internationally as a member of the Junior British Surf Team.
“When I first heard I had been chosen to be a Torchbearer I was so stoked!” she said. “I couldn't believe I had been nominated by the local people, my friends and my family, all the people who I most care about. It is an honour to represent my town and my country, as well as my sport, and to carry the Olympic Flame, I hope I can make those people who voted for me proud.”
Dave Jackson, from Penzance, was nominated for his dedication to HM Coastguard. Dave, who has been a volunteer Coastguard for over 40 years and is the Station Officer of Land’s End Coastguard Rescue Team, has led his team during the response to many incidents, including the tragic loss of the Union Star and the Penlee lifeboat.
Behind the scenes Dave gives up many hours to check and maintain the rescue equipment to ensure that the team are available any time or night. Over the years he has trained, mentored and supported countless people from all walks of life and has supported and participated in coastguard fund raising for the Jubilee Trust, as well as organising educational initiatives to increase awareness of beach and sea safety amongst locals and visitors.
“It is a great honour to have been chosen to be one of the official Torchbearers” he said.
“It truly is an opportunity of a lifetime and one which I am very grateful for. The Olympics is such a huge event which all the world’s media will be following as the Torch makes its way from the start of its journey at Land’s End to the start of the Games in London.
"I feel extremely proud to be a small part of it and I look forward to telling the story to my granddaughter who is just a couple of months old at the moment and is too young to understand it”.
“I would like to thank Coastal Safety Manager Helen Hutson for nominating me and all the members of the Lands End Cliff Rescue Team past and present who I have had the pleasure to get to know and work with over the past 40+ years.”
Andy Ferris, from Newquay, was nominated for his work with surf life saving. He has volunteered as Sport Director for Surf Life Saving Great Britain - the charity for volunteer lifeguards - for four years.
Andy has organised a number of regional and national competitions as well as youth and leadership camps to help develop and grow the sport and has put in place a full coaching and ocean safety and skills programme.
He also coaches at club, county and national level, all in his own time, alongside his full-time job.
Keia Wardman, from Newlyn, was nominated to carry the Olympic Torch because of her dedication to sport.
A keen swimmer, she is the Cornish Champion at 400 and 800m freestyle and has achieved medals at regional level. Her second love is Surf Life Saving and she is the Cornish and National Champion at sea swimming.
She is an inspiration to youngsters at the local swim and surf clubs. She also plays rounders, tag tugby and enjoys county cross country. She is a real local hero to many local people and is committed to achieving her dream of becoming a future member of the British Olympic Team.
“The Torchbearers who will be carrying the Flame through Cornwall have some amazing stories to tell” said Chris Ridgers. “I am looking forward to meeting as many as possible and hope that everyone will join with me in giving them a very warm welcome”.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, added: ‘Today we bring the Olympic Torch Relay to life. The Flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and its journey around the UK will bring the excitement of the Games to our streets.
"Now the people know the route the Olympic Flame will be carried along and the Torchbearers for their community, they can start planning how they might celebrate and make it Cornwall’s moment to shine.’
An average of 115 Torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic Flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at 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.
LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in each Nation and Region of the UK to devise the route and is taking the Olympic Flame to within ten miles of over 95% of the population.