The Olympic Torch Relay is coming to Wigan Borough on 31 May 2012. The Relay brings the spirit of Games to the whole country. It's an ideal opportunity to showcase what’s best about our borough – our residents, our sporting heritage and our landscape. The eyes of the world will be on Wigan Borough and that means we want you to get involved!
The Olympic Flame is kindled in Greece at the Temple of Hera at Ancient Olympia. It is created for each Games by focusing sunlight in a parabolic mirror. At this point, it is the only place in the world where the Olympic Flame is alight. It then travels round Greece for seven days before being passed to the UK, where the Relay will start at Land's End.
Over 70 days, Torchbearers will take the Flame across the UK, covering 8,000 miles. For parts of the journey, the Flame will be carried in a vehicle. Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame for approximately 300 metres each, passing the Olympic Flame from torch to torch until it reaches the Olympic Stadium on the eve of 27 July.
The route through Wigan Borough
Communities in Lowton, Abram, Ince, Wigan town centre, Scholes and Hindley should be very excited as the Torch is coming through their streets. Look out for sign posts giving details along the route itself.
Communities in other parts of the borough, including Orrell, Ashton and Atherton, have already confirmed that they will also be getting involved and there will also be 'legacy' events which will lay permanent reminders of the Torch Relay all around our area.
What can I do to get involved?
Already dozens of schools and community groups have told us they will be celebrating the day. Residents and schools have formed their own Olympic Committees and have organised events on and around the route. There will be specific focal points along the route, including events in Wigan town centre, but people can line the route where they like, wave flags and enjoy our moment of history.
It's best to plan your transport moves for the 31 May as the roads will inevitably be busy as the Torch is due in our area in the late afternoon and crosses the East Lancs A580 and both Wigan and Hindley town centres.
On the day itself, there will be a chance to join in the excitement with live Twitter feeds (external link) and a gallery of pictures of the Convoy and events organised by schools, residents and clubs.
The launch in Wigan
The Olympic organisers told us late last year that they had chosen a route through our borough.
Wigan’s European and World Medallist and current British Indoor 800m record holder Jenny Meadows (external link) joined senior officials from Wigan Council and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust to celebrate that announcement.
Jenny said: “This is fantastic news for Wigan Borough. The Olympic Games really is the biggest event in the world and for the symbol of these games to be coming to Wigan truly is remarkable.
“I’m proud of Wigan Borough’s sporting achievements and have been training long and hard to get to the Olympics. So to have a part of them come to my own borough is a dream come true!”
Leaders from Wigan Council and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust said that although the London 2012 Torch Relay will pass through large parts of our area, residents from across the whole borough will be invited to join in events along the route – and many local individuals are expected to be Torchbearers for parts of the route.
The Flame will be in the borough for a number of hours, with the convoy in procession throughout that time.