SportsNewsIreland brought you news back in late April that the Olympic Torch may be on its way to Dublin as part of the 2012 Olympic Games Torch Relay and first confirmation came today that Dublin was indeed being considered and that a decision would be finally reached during July.
When announcing the Torch Relay route today organising committee LOCOG said that in addition to the towns and cities confirmed today, others were still under consideration and added: “ LOCOG also confirms today that the feasibility of taking the Olympic Flame on a short visit to Dublin is being explored with all the relevant parties”.
Commenting on recent reports that the Olympic Torch may travel to the Republic prior to the London Games, Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland said that negotiations were now at a very sensitive stage at the highest Olympic levels.
“We in the Olympic Council have been lobbying for the Torch project for the past three years and are cautiously optimistic that we will get a positive result.
“The final decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee( in association with the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG)) and a final decision taken at the I.O.C meeting in Durban on July 6th – and will follow intensive on-going negotiations”.
The Olympic Torch is due to visit Belfast, Portrush, Derry and Newry on June 3rd 2012 so a stage involving Dublin might be possible on the 4th or more likely 5th of June next year.
With one year to go until the Olympic Flame arrives in the UK, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today reveals the dates and locations for the evening celebration events and island visits on the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay route. The announcement of these events and visits is the first stage in confirming the route the Olympic Flame will take around the UK.
A year today, the Olympic Flame will arrive in the UK from Greece and the 70-day Olympic Torch Relay which is 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 is expected to travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK (inc Belfast ,Derry and Newry) giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them. The Olympic Flame will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Olympic Flame will be carried across the UK by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers and once the detailed route is confirmed later this year, it is estimated that 95% of the population will be within a one hour journey time of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: ‘The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across every Nation and Region of the UK and showcase the very best of who we are and where we live. The first locations on the route confirmed today give a flavour of the reach the Olympic Torch Relay will have around the UK and how extensive the opportunity for starting to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games will be.’
Over the past year LOCOG has worked with representatives from a number of sectors in each Nation and Region to devise this first phase of the route. In addition to the first 74 locations confirmed on the route today, many other cities, towns, villages and places of outstanding natural beauty, sports venues and community hubs will be announced in a second, more detailed route announcement later this year that will confirm the many other places the Olympic Flame will visit each day.
The Olympic Flame will travel for approximately 12 hours each day, concluding on 66 of the 70 days with an exciting early evening celebration event that will enable thousands of people each evening to enjoy a variety of entertainment and shows staged by LOCOG and the three Presenting Partners with the support of the host Local Authority. Each celebration event will differ with locally programmed content on the stage which will add to the celebratory atmosphere. Many thousands more people are expected to celebrate along the route each day.
Also confirmed today are 6 island visits to the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Shetland, Orkney and the Isle of Lewis where a community led celebration to welcome the Olympic Flame will be held and Torchbearers will run in relay.
To find out more about the first places to be confirmed on the route go to www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay
The London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer nomination programme launches today at 11am. Together with the three Presenting Partners – Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, LOCOG is seeking 8,000 of the most inspirational people to have their moment to shine next summer by carrying the Olympic Flame.
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: ‘The Olympic Torch Relay brings London 2012 to the doorsteps of the UK giving everybody the chance to celebrate the London Games. It’s a magnificent showcase for the country and a chance to mark the achievements of inspirational people in our communities.’
If indeed the Torch does come to Ireland,as seems likely, then some 50 to 75 people will be recruited to carry the sacred Torch, and these will not be necessarily Olympic athletes but individuals chosen to represent all that is best in Irish life and particularly Irish sports inc members of Soccer, Rugby and the GAA.