ALTHOUGH like others across the UK, many Borderers won’t actually get to see any of the Olympics in person, they will get the opportunity to see the Olympic torch when it passes through the region next year.
The path the torch will take on its journey was unveiled on Monday and there’s good news for people in Berwickshire as during the afternoon of June 14 it will pass through Gordon, Greenlaw, Duns, Chirnside and Foulden, having visited Eddleston, Peebles, Innerleithen, Walkerburn, Selkirk and Galashiels earlier in the day.
The route has been planned by the London 2012 Organising Committee so that the Olympic flame will come within an hour of 95 per cent of people in the UK. The Committee is also considering nominations for potential torchbearers following closure of the nominations process.
Eight thousand inspirational people across the UK will be chosen to carry the Olympic flame during the torch relay. Their personal stories will have the power to inspire millions of people watching around the world.
And with a number of Berwickshire nominees in the hat, there could be some familiar faces carrying the torch come next summer.
Among them is Duns archer Iain Macdonald who was put forward for Coca Cola’s search for “someone with a burning passion who deserves to carry the Olympic flame,” and recently retired Berwickshire High deputy head Alistair Christie who was nominated as a Lloyds TSB torchbearer.
The Olympic flame will arrive in the UK from Greece on May 18 in time for the torch relay to begin at Land’s End the following day.
Councillor Graham Garvie, Executive Member for Culture, Sport and Community Learning at Scottish Borders Council, commented: “The Olympic Torch Relay will shine a spotlight on the people and places of the Scottish Borders and the welcome by these towns and their surrounding communities will demonstrate that the Olympic spirit is alive and well. I would encourage everyone to join in welcoming the Olympic Torch as it passes through the Scottish Borders on June 14 next year.”
On hearing the news that the torch would be travelling through the area, Berwickshire MP Michael Moore also urged people to get in on the Olympic spirit.
He commented: “I am very pleased that the Olympic torch will be visiting a big number of communities in the Borders and I want to encourage people to get involved and start planning their welcome for the torch relay.
“I appreciate that the Olympic torch is missing out some of our important towns and villages but I hope people will travel to the nearest place where it is passing through and get involved in the festivities.”
Berwickshire MSP, John Lamont, added: “This is an opportunity for the Scottish Borders to come together as one in celebration of the Olympic relay, the games and the ideals it hopes to promote.”
“Having personally experienced the welcoming spirit and enthusiasm of the Borders people I’m sure they will make this once in a lifetime event memorable.”