Jonathan Evans carried the Torch on Saturday while Steve Newell and Peter Howard
had the same honour the following day.
Jonathan, from Elswick in Lancashire, is a keen triathlete and a football coach who has dedicated over 25 years of his life to Wrea Green FC. He was described in his nomination to carry the Torch as someone, ‘who has always given his time freely, and never asked for anything in return’. Jonathan carried the Flame through Warton before handing it on to the next Torchbearer.
Speaking shortly afterwards, Jonathan said: “To be able to carry the Olympic Torch was such a massive honour. Hopefully it will inspire children to take up sport, and maybe become the next Olympic star.”
On Sunday afternoon, Steve Newell from Ilkley carried the Flame through nearby Bradford. Steve is a company director with a passion for sport, competing in several triathlons and marathons each year to raise money for local charities. This year he took on Ironman UK, finished in under 14 hours, and raised £1500 for Cancer Research in the process.
Steve said it was a privilege to be a Torchbearer: “The relay is a fantastic way of involving the whole country in the Olympics and I felt humbled, proud and thrilled to be one of the Torchbearers. I was delighted to be able to represent my local community and my tri club.”
, who has been awarded a British Triathlon Gold Pin, has an inspiring story behind his nomination. Peter only learnt to swim at 50, but has been on the podium of British, European and World Age-Group Championships every year from the age of 50 to 75. Peter has been influential both at regional and national level, developing the sport for others to enjoy. His nomination described him as ‘a modest gentleman who always avoids the limelight, and who gives hope to the rest of us, especially newcomers to triathlon and older sportspeople’.
After carrying the Flame through Headingley in Leeds, Peter had this to say about the experience: “When I was a young athlete triathlon didn’t even exist, so to be given the chance to carry the Torch is my ‘Olympic moment’, in a sport I’ve been involved in for over 25 years. It’s a wonderful and emotional feeling.”
Jonathan, Steve and Peter are among over fifty triathletes chosen to be Torchbearers, representing every level of the sport in the UK from volunteers to elite triathletes. Triathlon’s Torchbearers cover an impressive age range, from 12-year-old Grace Jordan to 91-year-old Arthur Gilbert.
An average of 115 Torchbearers per day will carry the Olympic flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK this summer before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July. Its journey will take the Flame to within 10 miles of 95% of the UK population.
The triathlon community will also be looking forward to the Olympic triathlons, set to be among the most memorable of the London 2012 Games. The women’s race takes place on Saturday 4th August at 9am and the men’s on Tuesday 7th August at 11:30am. Triathlon will be one of the few free-to-view sports during the Olympic Games, with much of Hyde Park open and un-ticketed during the events.
Fans can watch the action at a number of iconic London landmarks including the south side of the Serpentine, The Wellington Arch, Buckingham Palace as well as plenty of areas within Hyde Park to view the event. To find out more and start planning your Triathlon events visit www.britishtriathlon.org/london-2012