August 24, 2011
Burnham residents nominated to be Olympic torch bearers
well-known residents in Burnham-On-Sea have this week been officially
nominated to become Olympic Torch Bearers and carry the symbolic
flame through the area next year.
90 year-old triathlon runner Arthur Gilbert, charity runner Jason
Vickers and Burnham Swim and Sports Academy's manager Sara Cox-Conklin
are among 28,000 people across the UK to have been formally nominated.
The Olympic Flame will arrive from Greece on 18th May 2012 and
am 8,000 mile Torch Relay will begin at Lands End on 19th
May before travelling across the whole UK in 70 days.
of the route are still being finalised, but it
will visit Taunton on 21st May and Bristol on 22nd May. There
are high hopes
that the torch will also travel through Highbridge, along the
A38 on its way to Bristol, when the three local torch bearers
could take part.
"The nominees have all received letters over the past week
informing them that they have been put forward by members of the
public. Their names will now be put forward to one of the 12 regional
judging panels being held around the UK," a London 2012 spokeswoman
"The panels will select the most inspiring people to be
one of the 8,000 torchbearers needed for the Olympic Torch Relay."
The final torchbearer will carry the Flame into the Olympic Stadium
during the Opening Ceremony on 27th July 2012 when the cauldron
will be lit, and the Games of the XXX Olympiad will be opened.
here in April how Arthur Gilbert had completed his latest
Burnham triathlon - comprising a 250m swim, followed by a 10km
bike ride and a 2.5km run - in a time of one hour, 20 minutes
and nine seconds.
Arthur told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week he was
delighted to have been nominated. "I'm very excited about
the prospect of carrying the Olympic torch - it would be an incredible
experience. It would be lovely if all three Burnham nominees could
Vickers, who has suffered from Crohn's Disease for the past 17
years and who works at Burnham's Tesco supermarket, has raised
over £8,000 for Multiple Sclerosis Society by running a
series of marathons.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It's a wonderful honour to have
been nominated and I thank everyone who put my name forward. I
just hope that the judges will pick me later in the year."
Cox-Conklin, who runs Burnham's Swim and Sports Academy with husband
Mark (pictured), has represented Great Britain in 11 World Championships
ranging from Modern Pentathlon (National Champion) to Triathlon
(World Amateur Champion) to cross-country skiing (7th in World
Masters) and was also a National Biathlon Champion. She turned
professional and went on to win an amazing 23 races around the
told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: "It's a huge honour to
be nominated to be an Olympic torch bearer. It would be an amazing
The successful nominees who pass the regional judging will be
given a conditional offer this December, with Torchbearer places
confirmed in February 2012. The nominees will have around a one
in 14 chance of being a Torchbearer.
Pictured: Top, the London 2012 Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe
unveiling the new Olympic Torch earlier this year, and, Burnham's
Arthur Gilbert, Jason Vickers and Sara Cox-Conklin with her husband