Ex-Olympian hopes torch will ignite passion for sport

A DOUBLE Olympic-medallist is hoping that people will be inspired by sport after hearing that Alnwick is to host the London 2012 Olympic torch.

Nick Gillingham, one of the world’s most successful 200metres breaststroke swimmers who lives at Warkworth, has welcomed the news that Alnwick will be hosting an evening celebration as part of the Olympic Torch’s journey across the UK before the London 2012 Games.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard,” he said.

“I hope it will inspire everyone in Alnwick as it is a unique and historic moment and with national and international interest, it places Alnwick high on the map and in to people’s minds.

“The torch tells us that the games are round the corner and they really are.

“It is also a wonderful moment for children, and it is important for them to get involved.”

Nick, who was awarded an MBE for services to swimming in 1993, added that there is a wealth of sporting talent in the area and with the focus of the torch on Alnwick that will be highlighted.

The search is now on for 8,000 inspirational people to become torchbearers as part of the Olympic flame’s epic journey across the UK.

The majority of the places will be made available to the public through the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralumpic Games (Locog) and the three Presenting Partners Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. The Presenting Partners’ campaigns will launch next month.

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 six-week programme was launched last week.

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. The deadline for making nominations is 11.59pm on Wednesday, June 29. Judging panels will be set up in each region to select the torchbearers.