Olympic Flame to tour Wigan

Jenny Meadows with a mock up of the Olympic Torch which will be coming to Wigan
Jenny Meadows with a mock up of the Olympic Torch which will be coming to Wigan
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THE Olympic Flame is to visit six places across the borough on its tour of the UK next spring.

Ahead of the Olympic Games in May 2012 the torch will be carried through the borough as part of a 70 day Torch Relay across the UK.

Although full details of the route are being kept confidential until nearer the time it has been confirmed that Lowton, Abram, Wigan, Scholes, Ince and Hindley will be at the centre of the events on May 31, 2012.

Deputy Leader of the council, Coun David Molyneux said: “We are proud that the Wigan borough has been selected to be part of this historic event.

“It is a tremendous privilege for us and I am sure that local people will want to show their support as we put ourselves firmly on the map with the world watching.”

Wigan’s European and World Medallist and current British Indoor 800m record holder, Jenny Meadows, joined senior officials to celebrate the announcement.

She said: “This is fantastic news for the 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 the 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.”

It is thought that many local people will get the chance to be Torchbearers for parts of the route.

Leaders from Wigan Council and Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust say that there will be various events along the route that residents from across the borough will be invited to join in.

The Flame is expected to be in the borough for a number of hours, with the convoy in procession throughout.

There will be special work done with schools and young people to ensure they get the most from the once-in-a-lifetime event.

Jenny Meadows added: “I’ve been doing a lot of work in the borough’s schools lately and it’s clear that the spirit of the games has captured the imagination of the children.

“I’m sure lots of them will turn out to see the torch pass through our borough.”

There is a precise ritual for the lighting of the Flame.

It is lit in a traditional ceremony among the ruins of the home of the Ancient Games.

It is then handed over to the new Host City at a ceremony in Athens before being taken to the Host Country, where the message of peace, unity and friendship is spread. Its journey ends with the cauldron lighting at the Opening Ceremony.