By Tom Degun
August 11 - There are 14 applications for every available place to carry the Olympic Torch when it arrives in Britain next year to travel around the country in the lead-up to London 2012, it was revealed today.
More than 28,000 nominations have been made for the 2,012 Torchbearer places available through the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Moment to Shine programme.
The applications were all received between May 18 and June 29 this year and it will now be left to 12 selection panels held across the UK to decide on the most inspiring people to carry the to carry the Torch.
The 12 selection panels will be established over the next month and comprise of representatives from the local culture, sport, voluntary, education, youth and local Government sectors.
They will be held from October 3 until 14 this year as they judge the thousands of applicants and London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe admitted they have a tough job ahead of them.
"We are thrilled with the response we have had to the London 2012 Torchbearer nomination programme and would like to thank everyone who took the time to put friends, colleagues or family members forward for consideration for one of the 2,012 Torchbearer places on offer through the Moment to Shine campaign," said Coe (pictured with former Olympic heptathlon champion Denise Lewis).
"With the selection panels set to review an average of 14 nominations for every one available LOCOG Torchbearer place, difficult decisions will need to be taken.
"However, we should be proud so many inspiring people have been put forward to carry the Olympic Flame next summer and receive recognition for their achievements."
Individuals who received more than one nomination had one selected at random to go forward to the selection panels while thosethat did not comply with the terms and conditions of entry or were incomplete were removed from the programme.
Nominees going forward to the selection panel stage will be now emailed and invited to verify the 150 word maximum nomination story provided by their nominator earlier in the summer.
They will also have to give London 2012 their consent by September 16 this year for their story to be considered at their local selection panel.
Every nomination going forward to the selection panels will be read by two individuals who will be looking for inspirational people who have personally achieved something great and/or contribute to the local community.
The Olympic values of friendship, excellence and respect will also feature in the selection criteria and Torchbearers will be selected on the strength of their nomination story as the representatives on the selection panel will not be told the names of the nominees, London 2012 revealed.
"The Olympic Torch Relay will bring the magic of the Games to communities up and down the UK and give local heroes a once in a lifetime experience of carrying the Olympic Flame," said Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson.
"I am delighted that London 2012's Torchbearer nomination programme has received so much support and I wish all the entries good luck in the next stage of the selection process."
An average of 110 people a day will carry the Olympic Flame on its 8,000 mile journey around the UK after it arrives at Land's End on May 18 before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford on July 27 to light the cauldron at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Exactly 90 per cent of the total 8,000 Torchbearer places are available to the public through a number of channels, including the four public nomination campaigns run by London 2012 and the three Presenting Partners of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay: Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.
The public nomination programmes run by each of the three Presenting Partners remain open until September 2011.