John Beaton, who has a brother in I Form, came to talk to the Juniors about being an Olympic Torch Bearer. He carried the Torch on its Hopeton House leg on Wednesday 13th June and had fireworks to add to the excitement. He told us that he had been selected for his work as a Scout leader and rugby coach, and that he felt it was an honour and memory he would take through his life.
We learned that the torch was triangular shaped to represent the 3 Olympics hosted by London; 1908 after the original host country (Italy) could not host the Games as Mount Vesuvius erupted; 1948, the first Games held after the cancelled 1944 Games due to WWII; and this year's 2012 Games. We also learned that it had 8000 holes in it to represent the 8000 torches, 8000 miles and 8000 people of the British relay, though there will actually be 8002 torches by the end as 2 have been added. It was designed by British designers Edward Barber and Jay Osbergy, and the holes help to keep it alight, though earned it the nickname the 'cheese grater'! The final torch will be held in an Olympic museum. John gets to keep his, but some people have sold theirs and it is reported that one has been sold for over £150,000! The number 8 was chosen as a link to the last Games in Beijing as 8 is a lucky Chinese number representing wealth, joy and happiness, and was used in their Games ceremony! It shows how much thought and significance has gone into this design, making it a real collectors item and something John is extremely proud to have.