LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in Wales to devise the route that will see the Olympic Flame being carried through places such as Abergavenny, Caernarfon and Wrexham. The Olympic Flame is set to visit every Local Authority area in Wales and the route achieves an optimum mix of proximity to people whilst taking in beautiful natural and urban landmarks to showcase Wales around the world.
The announcement of the 1,018 villages, towns and cities on the UK 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.
Not only does the Wales route include villages, town and cities, the Olympic Torch Relay will also take in landmarks along the way and the Olympic Flame will be carried for sections of the route by a selection of modes of transport. In Wales these include the Torchbearer carrying the Olympic Flame travelling by a hand-drawn boat across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a Torchbearer riding a Ceredigion Cob through Aberaeron. A Torchbearer will run into Caerphilly Castle carrying the Olympic Flame and another will carry the Olympic Flame in a miners lantern on the Snowdon Mountain Railway to reach the summit of Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa in Snowdonia/Eryri. For logistical reasons, not all the landmarks and modes of transport will be accessible to large crowds but LOCOG will continue to work with the Local Authorities and operators to ensure the public access information is given in advance.
With the Olympic Flame shining a light on these different communities the Olympic Torch Relay will be an opportunity for the people of Wales to connect with the Olympic Games, its values and its spirit. Many thousands of people are expected to welcome the Olympic Flame and celebrate the achievements of the Torchbearers along the route.
A list of the host communities in Wales and other highlights announced today are available to download from here and Olympic Torch Relay images are available here. An Olympic Torch Relay animation film that gives a taste of the journey the Olympic Flame will make is available on request. 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 Wales 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 people across Wales their moment to shine."
Wales’ Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, Huw Lewis said:
"The fact that 95% of the population will be within 10 miles of the Olympic Torch Relay when it comes to Wales will be an excellent opportunity for communities across Wales to feel a part of the 2012 Games, it will also give a fantastic platform to showcase some of our iconic landmarks. I encourage every community to make the most of this opportunity and to give the flame a warm Welsh welcome by organising events and celebrations as the torch passes through each town and village next year."
British Airways is a Supporter of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay and the Olympic Flame will arrive in 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.
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.
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.
Today LOCOG launches two new public participation programmes. The ‘Local Leaders’ initiative is an invitation to people across Wales 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 at www.london2012.com/getset 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 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 their 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.