Four staff from Midcounties Co-operative have been chosen to carry the Olympic Flame as part of the Olympics relay around the country this summer.
In the run-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, the workers will join thousands of other deserving individuals who have all made a contribution to their community.
Midcounties Co-operative food store employees Adam Quinton, of Chipping Norton, and Sally Kirk, of Willenhall, were nominated because of their community work and Robin Gardner, also of Chipping Norton, and Kevin Philipson, of Northway in Tewkesbury, were nominated because of their loyalty and dedication to their work.
Mr Quinton said: “It’s absolutely fabulous and a once in a lifetime opportunity. I was over the moon when I heard about the news and I am very grateful to my colleague for putting my name forward. I am very pleased to take part for the Midcounties, especially as it is the International Year of the Co-operatives.”
Added Mr Gardner: “It is exciting stuff, the biggest event taking place this year. I was very happy when I was told I would be a torchbearer because I love the Olympics. I was an international runner in the 1990’s and I competed in races in Russia, France, Holland and Italy. I can’t wait to take part and especially because it is the International Year of the Co-operatives, it ties in so well.”
Ms Kirk said it was very exciting because she is a keen swimmer and particularly interested in the Olympics. Mr Philipson, who is another keen sports fan, is also really looking forward to following the track and field events.
The Olympic Torch will be handed over by Greece to the London delegation today in a special ceremony, before being flown to the UK on Friday on a special chartered British Airways flight — BA2012 — to an airbase in Cornwall. England footballer David Beckham will lead the team with Princess Anne, who will hand the torch over for the start of the 70-day, 8,000-mile relay at Land’s End on Saturday.
The search for inspirational people around the UK was carried out by Olympic Torch Relay sponsors Coca-Cola through its Future Flames nomination campaign last year. The nationwide campaign called on the country to nominate people who use their passions in areas like sport and physical activity, music and dance, and community and the environment; to spread happiness in their local communities.
Ben Reid, Chief Executive of the Midcounties Co-operative, said: “We are delighted to have been able to work in association with Coca-Cola to recognise and reward these great, inspirational people. Our customers and Coca-Cola’s Future Flames show the positive impact people have on their local community and the opportunity to be an Olympic Torchbearer and take part in the Olympic Torch Relay is a fitting way to celebrate them.”
James Williams, Director, Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola, said: “With the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games only months away, I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to start the celebrations early by confirming the Olympic Torchbearers we have selected through our Future Flames campaign. They are all outstanding people who spread happiness in their local communities to make Britain burn brighter, and now they will be honoured with the amazing experience of carrying the Olympic Flame. I hope everyone joins us in cheering them on as they run along the route and at their closest evening event, so they can Move to the Beat in celebration of their local Future Flames.”
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