South Coast's Olympic Torch-Bearers Named

The names of the first people who'll carry the Olympic torch through Dorset and Hampshire next summer have been revealed.

Gillian Skeen from Romsey has cared for her profoundly disabled daughter for 29 years as well as doing volunteer work with a group for children with disabilities and learning difficulties.

The 48-year-old mum-of-five  said:

"I was overwhelmed to have been offered an opportunity to take part in the Torch Relay next year.

"I feel truly honoured to be able represent my community and especially carers like me, in this once in a lifetime event."

Gillian Skeen and her Daughter

Also offered a place is 12-year-old Alice Tai from Barton-On-Sea. She goes to school in Bournemouth.

She was born with severe bilateral talipes and has endured 13 operations to date however she was recently selected to swim at the Junior Nationals for GB disabled swimmers and has also been selected for the GB Talent Squad.

Alice said:

"I am really excited about being offered a chance to carry the Torch and feel very honoured and privileged.

"I think it will be amazing to become part of my country's living history and I am really proud to represent the children and teenagers in my local community."

Next steps for people with an offer of a place include accepting the date they have been offered to take part in the Torch Relay, providing a copy of the specified documents, confirming their uniform size and any access requirements by 25 January 2012.

Every offer of a Torchbearer place is subject to passing the required background checks and final confirmation of becoming a Torchbearer will be communicated by LOCOG by March 2012. 

Next year's confirmation of Torchbearer places will include the name of the town, village, city, or London Borough through which the Torchbearer is invited to carry the Olympic Flame.

A further communication much closer to the time of the Torch Relay will confirm the details of the exact 300m (on average) stretch of the route along which the Torchbearer will carry the Olympic Flame.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said:

"Thank you to everyone in the South East who took the time to nominate a friend, a colleague or a family member through one of the four campaigns.

"We are one step closer to giving hundreds of people across the South Coast their moment to shine during the Olympic Torch Relay next summer.

"The sum of the individual stories of our Torchbearers will show the world that the Olympic spirit is alive and well right across the South Coast.'

An average of 115 people a day will take centre stage next summer by carrying the Olympic Flame on its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at 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.