London 2012: Olympic torch relay street route set out

Media caption,
Among the torchbearers for the London 2012 Olympics will be 99-year-old Diana Gould

The street-by-street route the London 2012 Olympic torch relay will take around the UK has been set out.

The names of the majority of the 8,000 people who will carry the flame on its 8,000 mile journey have also been confirmed by Games organisers Locog.

The Olympic flame arrives in the UK on 18 May and begins its 70-day journey at Land's End on the morning of 19 May.

It will visit every nation and region and stop off at landmarks such as Stonehenge and the Giant's Causeway.

It will pass through 1,018 places as well as visiting Dublin on its journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on 27 July.

Potential torchbearers were nominated through programmes run by Locog and sponsors Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung in 2011.

They aimed to recognise and reward people with a story of personal achievement and/or contribution to the local community.

The torch will be carried by 7,300 people who were nominated and the remaining 700 will be athletes and celebrities.

The oldest and youngest torchbearers joined gold medal-winning triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and London Mayor Boris Johnson at a primary school in east London to mark the detailed route of the torch relay being released.

Diana Gould, 99, who will be 100 by the time she carries the torch in her home area of Barnet, London, said it was "a great honour" to be chosen.

Standing next to her, the youngest bearer Dominic MacGowan, 11, from Birmingham, reflected that the torch was "something for everyone".

Each torchbearer will carry the flame for about 300m and about 110 people will take part each day.

'Absolutely thrilled'

Rhyania Blackett-Codrington, 29, from London, is going to carry the torch through the borough of Islington, where she lives.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," she told BBC One's Breakfast, adding that she was nominated for "changing her life round".

"I was a troubled teen and I am now a teacher helping others," she said. She added that she was keen to do a rehearsal of the route holding the torch, but said she was not keen on running with it.

"I'm going to walk very slowly, I'm quite clumsy and I don't want to fall down."

Olympic chief Sebastian Coe also revealed last week that he had been nominated to carry the torch in his home town of Sheffield. He told the BBC's School Report: "For me Sheffield was where all my athletics really happened so that would be the obvious place to be involved."

Another torchbearer will be Dave Jackson, 61, a volunteer coastguard and station officer at Land's End Coastguard Rescue, from Sennen, Cornwall.

He was nominated by his bosses for more than 40 years' service. He served during the 1981 Union Star and Penlee lifeboat disaster, in which 16 people died, including eight volunteer lifeboatmen.

He is part of a team of 12 people on permanent call and also works as supervisor and groundsman at Cornwall's Minack Theatre.

Media caption,
Torchbearer Rhyania Blackett-Codrington: "I'm absolutely thrilled"

He will run on the relay's first leg, from Land's End to Plymouth.

He told the BBC that when he first found out he would be running with the torch he thought "'it's a wind-up'".

"You don't expect that sort of thing, do you?

"But the first day of the relay, I know it's in Sennen. If it's hot and sunny, it'll be brilliant. Brilliant for Land's End, Sennen and for Cornwall.

"I think it'll be a case of 'don't drop it'! That'll be going through my mind quite a bit. 'Don't start any fires'.

"It's a great honour to be nominated. I'm born and bred in Cornwall and you can't beat it."

Tomlinson's son chosen

The torch will also be carried by the teenage son of fundraiser Jane Tomlinson , who died from cancer in 2007 aged 43. The NHS radiographer had raised £1.85m for charity through seven years of marathons, triathlons, the Ironman contest, a tandem cycle ride from Rome to Leeds and a bike ride across the US.

Steven Tomlinson, 14, will carry the torch in Leeds on behalf of his mother, who carried the torch before the 2004 Games in Athens.

He said: "I'm really excited. It's a great opportunity to be part of the Olympics. I will be doing it on behalf of my sisters and my mum. It should be a great experience."

Some 212 of the torchbearers will be young people aged 12 during the relay.

Image caption,
Dave Jackson after receiving his MBE from the Queen

At Lochaber High School and in her community she takes part in a traditional Gaelic music group and helps with a charity Mary's Meals, which provides school meals to developing world countries and fills backpacks with educational materials.

She said: "Someone at school nominated me as I do lots of clubs at lunch times and I do outdoor climbing, swimming and mountain-biking.

"I think the torch might be very heavy. But I'm looking forward to carrying it, it will be really exciting."

David Chaffey, 28, who lost his sight when he was seven and recently had a heart transplant, will carry the torch in Blaenavon in Wales.

He works as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in the A&E department of the Royal Liverpool Hospital and is a volunteer tackling knife crime in Liverpool by speaking to young people.

Abseil and skywalk

Unusual ways have been found for some torchbearers to complete their relay leg.

High-flying activities await some torchbearers as the flame will be abseiled down the Dock Tower at Grimsby and swooped off the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle Gateshead on a zip wire . It will also be taken on a skywalk at Dublin's Croke Park

The overall route has been designed to also take in cultural institutions such as the Turner Gallery in Margate and Cass Sculpture Foundation at Goodwood as well as many sporting stadia and racecourses.

Sebastian Coe, chair of London 2012, said: "Today we bring the Olympic torch relay to life, with thousands of inspirational people from all over the UK being confirmed as torchbearers.

"We hope local communities come out and line the streets to cheer on the torchbearers, and celebrate the Olympic Games coming to the UK."

Organisers aim to bring the flame within 10 miles of 95% of the population.

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