1. ITV Report

London 2012 Olympic torch bearers announced

Dinah Gould, at 100 years old, will be the oldest person to carry the Olympic torch Photo: ITV News

The names of over 7,000 people who will carry the Olympic Flame as torch bearers in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic Games have been unveiled.

The torch bearers include some who have fought serious illness, people who have gone above and beyond for their community as well as Dinah Gould, a sprightly 99 year old who will be 100 years old by the time she carries the flame.

Damon Green reports:

The Olympic Torch relay in numbers:

  • Over 7,300 inspiring people are confirmed as torch bearers for the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay
  • An average of 115 torch bearers a day will carry the Olympic Flame
  • It will travel on an 8,000 mile journey around the UK
  • It will arrive at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony

There are countless inspiring stories from among the chosen torch bearers.

The teenage son of charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson has said that he will carry the Olympic Torch on behalf of his late mother.

His mother, who died from cancer in 2007 at the age of 43, carried the torch ahead of the 2004 Games in Athens.

I'm really excited about being nominated as a torchbearer. 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.

– Steven Tomlinson
Nadine Hollingsworth's son Sebastian was born with a serious heart defect. Credit: ITV

Nadine Hollingsworth from North Shields has been chosen as an Olympic torch bearer in recognition of the years she has spent years campaigning for more local services for children with heart defects.

Nadine and her husband Ivan have raised nearly £80,000 for the Children's Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital after their son was born with a heart defect.

Jonathan Edwards met some of the torch bearers Credit: ITV News

Former Olympic champion and member of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) Jonathan Edwards at the unveiling of the prestigious list said: "It's a really exciting day. The torch relay is literally around the corner and it's all systems go."

He explained the moment when the torches are held together to pass on the flame:

The kiss is the big moment when the flame is passed from torchbearer to torchbearer and obviously you have to get it right - you don't want the flame to go out.

It's called a kiss. You have to hold them together for about ten seconds to make sure the flame passes and then the next runner runs off for their 300m stint.