Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Your Chance to Carry Olympic Torch; Five Standard Readers Will Win Role in Historic Relay

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Your Chance to Carry Olympic Torch; Five Standard Readers Will Win Role in Historic Relay

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Beard and Mark Blunden

READERS of the Evening Standard are being given the chance to play a historic role in the greatest show on Earth -- by carrying the 2012 Olympic torch, courtesy of Lloyds TSB.

As official sponsor of the nationwide relay, Lloyds TSB has donated five places for readers to have the honour of being one of the torchbearers.

Londoners are today urged to nominate "unsung heroes" they believe are deserving of the honour, in recognition of a notable personal achievement or a contribution to their community.

It is a unique opportunity to take part in a highlight of Olympic year.

As the symbolic curtain-raiser to the Games, the flame arrives from Olympia, Greece, on May 19 and will tour Britain for six weeks before lighting the cauldron at the Stratford stadium on July 27, to open the Olympics. Its arrival in London a week before the event starts will be marked by evening festivals in town squares and royal parks. Today a City worker who also served as an Army bomb disposal expert told of her pride at being the Standard's first nominee to carry the torch.

Victoria Swain, 25, of Cheshunt, put her job as a facilities manager on hold to serve a six-month tour with the Royal Engineers in Afghanistan last year. She said she was stunned to be nominated by the operational and welfare officer of the Catford Territorial Army unit, Captain Bill Bailey. He said: "Sapper Swain has to be strongly considered for the honour of carrying the torch to show her that she has been recognised by not only her regiment and squadron but her borough and country."

Ms Swain was the only woman in a seven-strong search team for the Joint Forces IED Task Force. She said: "This is an honour I never expected. Many Britons, such as nurses, do amazing things every day and people should put forward heroes to carry the torch."

Some 8,000 bearers will carry the flame, with 90 per cent of places offered to the public. Games organisers Locog will decide on 2,000 places, with the remainder divided between sponsors Samsung, Coca-Cola and Lloyds TSB.

Olympic swimmer Mark Foster opened the Lloyds TSB nomination process today -- and proposed his exswimming coach Anne Hardcastle. …

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