Swindon will play host to the symbol of the Olympic Games next May as the flame of the games makes its way around the UK in the run-up to the London showpiece in July.
Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame through the town on Wednesday, 23 May next year – an opportunity for people to come together and share in the spirit of the Olympics and to take part in the Torch Relay.
Swindon is one of more than 1,000 villages, towns and cities announced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) through which the Olympic Flame will be carried by Torchbearers during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay which is presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. LOCOG has worked closely with representatives from a number of sectors in the South West to devise the route.
Sue O’Connell of Liden, pictured below, has been chosen as one of the lucky 6,000 chosen to carry the torch in its tour of the nation, one of 60,000 who were nominated. She will carry the torch for 300 metres though the exact stretch of the route is yet to be disclosed.
She was nominated by her good friend, Nikki Roberts, a fellow member of Swindon Twin Peaks walking group, with whom Sue has completed many of the Playtex Moonwalks in London, Edinburgh and Bristol, raising thousands of pounds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Her first love is running, and as a member of Swindon Harriers Sue has taken part in the London Marathon twice, and numerous other running events of varying distance, including some very muddy off-road races.
For the past six months Sue has also been working on behalf of the SMASH youth project charity, which she feels offers tremendous support to disadvantaged teenagers in Swindon. With two teenagers of her own, Joe, 19, and Sophie, 18, she combines fitness with working for a successful software company, PleaseTech Ltd, based in Malmesbury.
She is also training to be a Personal Trainer and she will launch a new company early in 2012. Look out for SOLEAN (Sue O’Connell Lifestyle, Exercise and Nutrition).
Sadly the hopes of personal trainer Les Slinn to be one of the lucky chosen ones have been dashed.
As a long time supporter for Swindon Down’s Group and Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis he was hoping to carry the torch to raise awareness of their needs.
Below, Les is pictured with users of the Swindon Therapy Centre for Multiple Sclerosis, right
The 70-day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land’s End, Cornwall on the morning of 19 May 2012. On leaving Land’s End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them.
View the interactive map at
to find their nearest community through which the Olympic Flame will be carried. On the final day of the Olympic Torch Relay, it is LOCOG’s intention that the Olympic Flame will travel down the River Thames as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. See a 360 degree aerial panorama of the Olympic Park