Godalming's Olympic Fans To Have Chance To Glimpse Torch

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By PatHill | Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 12:44

Thousands of fans and supporters of the London 2012 Olympics from the Godalming area will have the unique opportunity to glimpse the Olympic flame when it arrives in Guildford next year.

The news comes as organisers of next year's Olympics today announced details for the planned route that the carriers of the flame will take before the beginning of the the games.

In the plan, the Olympic flame will be paraded through Guildford before being taken to London for the start of the 2012 Games.

The flame arrives in the UK this time next year and will be taken on an 8,000-mile journey around the UK, including Guildford on 20 July, allowing thousands of fans from the around the area to glimpse the historic symbol.

The torch will travel for about 12 hours a day, and there will be an evening celebration at many locations.

Organisers have pledged that 95% of the population will be within a one-hour journey time of the torch relay.

The Guildford leg of the relay, a week before the Games begin, is the final stop before the torch enters London.

And next year's torch relay is expected to see many thousands of people celebrate along the route each day, according to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog).

Sebastian Coe, Locog chairman, said the torch relay would showcase the "very best of who we are and where we live".

He said: "The Olympic flame will shine a light right across every nation and region of the UK."

Meanwhile local enthusiasts from the Godalming area could be given the chance to become one of the torchbearers taking part in the epic event.

For 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 also launched the search for 8,000 Torchbearers to carry the Olympic Flame right across the UK with the start of the LOCOG Moment to Shine public nomination campaign.

The LOCOG 'Moment to Shine' public nomination campaign aims to find 2,012 inspirational members of the public who have gone beyond their personal best. The programme will run for six weeks from today. There will be further opportunities to get involved via the Presenting Partner programmes that will launch in June 2011.

The LOCOG 'Moment to Shine' nomination portal at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay asks nominators for up to 150 words on why their nominee should carry the Olympic Flame. There are six weeks to nominate potential Torchbearers and the deadline for making nominations is 11.59pm on Wednesday 29 June 2011. Judging panels will be set up in each Nation and Region of the UK to select the LOCOG Torchbearers for their area.

The Torchbearer places on offer through the LOCOG public nomination programme is 76% of the LOCOG allocation of Torchbearer places. The remaining LOCOG places will be shared between:

• Young people from schools in the Get Set Network programme who will be 12 at the time of the Olympic Torch Relay

• Local Authorities hosting an evening celebration event in recognition of their contribution to the staging of the Olympic Torch Relay

• Role models and outstanding members of the public by the invitation of LOCOG nearer to the time of  the  Relay

• Grassroots sports initiatives in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales

• Young people involved in the London 2012 International Inspiration sports participation programme

Surrey is already hosting next year's cycle race, for which a million spectators are expected to line the route in the county.

Denise Saliagopoulos, Surrey County Council's cabinet member for the 2012 Games, said Guildford had "something very special" planned for the day.

"It will be a great spectacle for all Surrey residents to enjoy," she added. "I'm not sure it can get any better than this."

Seventy four locations on the torch relay route - all the overnight and island stops - were announced today, with more daytime places to be revealed at a later date.

Its final destination is the Olympic stadium on 27 July when the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony will signify the start of the Games.

The county council has said the cycle race could spark a "gold rush" for local businesses with increased visitor spending, tourism and global exposure to a TV audience of billions, and a potential benefit to Surrey's economy of about £40m.

The cycle route takes cyclists from The Mall in the capital, through west London and then out to Surrey and back. The Surrey section includes a 9.6 mile circuit around Box Hill.

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