Skip to Content
When The Hour presenter Michelle MacManus joked to Olympic rower Katherine Grainger that she should bring the Olympic torch onto the famous sofa, we were expecting the iconic symbol to be well and truly ‘fully booked’. The London 2012 games are after all just 411 days away.
However, urged on by the determination that has seen her clinch three Olympic silver medals and five world championships, Katherine return with a surprise for the show.
“How special is this?” said the Scottish athlete whilst clinching the famous torch, specially re-designed for next years games.
The official torch is gold in colour and represents the UK through a number of unique design patterns, including the shape itself. It will travel the length of the country in summer ahead of the game’s start date on July 27 and will visit Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Shetland Islands.
“There are 8000 holes across the whole thing,” explained Katherine. “There will be 8000 torch bearers carrying the torch so everyone who is lucky enough to take part is represented by a hole.
“It is also three sided which represents the three times the Olympic games have been held in this country and the three Olympic ideals [swifter, higher, stronger]. It’s well thought through and very special just to hold.”
The 8000 torch-bearers will be chosen from within local communities and people are encouraged to nominate friends and family who they feel deserve to hold the torch. For those not lucky enough to get a nomination, the relay will pass through several towns and cities so everyone will get the chance to witness the historic sight.
Katherine added: “95% of people will be within one hour of the relay. So whether you can take part yourself or you just want to go along and watch it’s the closest a lot of people will get to the Olympic Games.”
“The whole point about this Olympic relay is that it’s about community rather than elite sports. The build up is obviously about hard work and training but the journey to it is special; all athletes have been on there own journey and there are a whole host of people who have helped us get there. This represents all levels of the community.”
To check when the Olympic torch will be coming to your area, see the official London 2012 relay map.