The Olympic torch officially began its journey on Saturday to mark the start of the 2012 Olympic torch relay.
The 8,000 mile relay is expected to take around 10 weeks. Official torchbearers, who have been specially selected, will be running a mile each throughout the UK. The torch will pass through England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The relay officially started in Cornwall with footballer David Beckham lighting the flame. Triple gold medal winning yachtsman Ben Ainslie was the first torchbearer to start the relay from Lands End before a group of runners transported the torch through Cornwall to Plymouth.
Once the torch has made its mammoth travel around the UK the fire from the torch will then be used to light the Olympic Flame at the London 2012 opening ceremony on 27th July.
It has come to light over the weekend that members of the public want to buy an Olympic torch from torchbearers. Dozens of the gold Olympic torches have been listed online with bids already reaching £100,000.
Torchbearers can buy the £495 torch for a discounted price of £215 as a keep-sake for being part of such a historic event, although some have been given theirs for free. However there has been criticism for some torchbearers who are selling their torches. Many have accused them of cashing in on their position even though most are giving the money they raise to charities or local community projects.
A spokesman for Olympic organisers Locog commented: “The majority of people will want to keep their torch, but ultimately it’s their property and for them to decide what to do with it.
“We hope the torches and uniforms find good homes.”
The Olympic torch will be covering 95% of the UK so why not see when it is arriving in your town? Click the link to see when you can witness a once in a lifetime event http://l2012.cm/JKPnqK.
Autonet Insurance will be watching it come through their town on 31st May so watch this space for updates.
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By Amanda Bainbridge