D-Day nears for Olympic Torch hopes

The immortal Olympic flame
The immortal Olympic flame

WITH Olympic fever beginning to sweep the nation, hopes are high the famous torch will pass its way along the Scarborough coastline in the run up to next year’s event.

The official announcement is due to be made later this month and follows an earlier release of overnight stops across the UK.

The flame will arrive in the UK on May 18 2012, beginning its journey at Land’s End in Cornwall before touring Britain for 70 days ahead of the games at the end of July.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire and chairman of Yorkshire Gold, said: “We are hopeful of trying to get the torch as close to as many people as possible in Yorkshire.

“Nationally the aim is to have the torch within an hour of where people live. In Yorkshire, our aim is to get people within 30 minutes if possible and we will be working hard to make this happen.”

It has already been confirmed that the sporting emblem will stop in Middlesbrough on June 17, Hull on June 18 and York a day later – suggesting a strong possibility of a detour though the Scarborough area.

Scarborough Council has submitted a document to Olympic bosses highlighting areas of cultural, historical and sporting significance across the area as well as important landmarks, areas of natural beauty and major events.

And the town could hold an ace in the hole as Scarborough is the only area in Britain to have scooped the title of Europe’s Most Enterprising Place.

Today, the Evening News is calling on Welcome to Yorkshire and the borough’s councillors to get the organisers to come down the coast to Scarborough.

Fellow titles in the Yorkshire Regional Newspapers stable are also campaigning to see the torch pass through other towns such as Filey, Pickering, Whitby, Bridlington and Beverley.

If Scarborough’s bid is successful, the torch’s route could take in landmarks such as Oliver’s Mount, Peasholm Park and the Open Air Theatre.

Yorkshire Gold, which is part of Welcome to Yorkshire, is working to ensure the region gains maximum benefit from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Organisers are also keen to hear from young people in the area.

Half of the total number of torch bearer places are expected to go to people aged between 12 and 24 years of age who are considered leading lights in their local communities. You can nominate people to carry the torch at www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay

Before the London Olympics of 1948 the torch relay travelled from Greece through Italy, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, back through France and across to Dover before heading to Wembley.