Let's bring Olympic flame to county

THE EAST Anglian Daily Times is today backing a campaign to persuade London 2012 chiefs to bring the Olympic torch to Suffolk as part of the traditional build up to the Games.

Craig Robinson

THE EAST Anglian Daily Times is today backing a campaign to persuade London 2012 chiefs to bring the Olympic torch to Suffolk as part of the traditional build up to the Games.

Preparations for the event are in full swing and those in charge will soon select an official to plan a suggested route for the iconic flame once it reaches UK shores in three years time.

The Games could generate nearly �70million for the Suffolk economy and securing a leg of the relay would be a major coup - benefiting businesses, tourism, sport and culture throughout the local community.


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As a result, today sees the launch of Bring the Torch to Suffolk - a campaign to promote the county in a bid to ensure it is on the list of places to visit before the Olympic and Paralympic flame is taken to the opening ceremony.

Over the next 12 months and beyond it is hoped members of the public - along with high profile community leaders - will back the campaign and suggest even more reasons as to why they think the county deserves a visit from the torch.

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The project is being run by the county council and is backed by the EADT, BBC Radio Suffolk and the Suffolk Tourism Partnership.

Adam Baker, Suffolk project manager for 2012 at the county council, said: “It is a very exciting opportunity because if the flame does come to Suffolk we will be part of Olympic history.

“To do that it's vital we are ready to demonstrate exactly why the torch should visit the county and where it should go.

“We need to showcase the very best of Suffolk, its geography, its culture and its diversity of communities.

“We need to build a strong and robust case so that when decisions are being made on where the torch relay will go, Suffolk is an automatic choice.

“We want to inspire the people of Suffolk to tell us why the torch should visit the county and where it should go. Whether it's a landscape, a person, a type of food or drink, a building or architecture, an animal or an event we want to know what it is about Suffolk that makes it so special.

“We also want to recruit high profile supporters who understand the importance of the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays visiting Suffolk and are willing to endorse the campaign.”

Members of the public will be able to contact the county council with their suggestions and these will then be collated and passed on to Olympic chiefs before a final decision is made in 2011.

EADT acting editor Dominic Castle said: “This is a unique opportunity to be a part of something special.

“We have so much here that we could share with the rest of the world if given the chance and we'll do whatever we can to help this campaign succeed.”

BBC Radio Suffolk breakfast presenter Mark Murphy said: "We're keen to celebrate everything positive about our wonderful county and we're happy to do all we can to raise the profile of Suffolk. It would be fantastic to put Suffolk on the world stage by bringing the Olympic flame here."

- Contact details for the campaign have not yet been finalised but in the meantime anyone who has ideas on why the torch should come to Suffolk can contact Adam Baker at adam.baker@acs.suffolkcc.gov.uk or by calling 01473 260821.

The Olympic flame:-

- Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus , its origins lie in ancient Greece , when a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics .

- The fire was reintroduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam , and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since.

- The torch relay of modern times - which transports the flame from Greece to various designated sites across the globe - had no ancient precedent and was introduced by Carl Diem , with the support of Joseph Goebbels , at the controversial Berlin Olympics as a means to promote Nazi ideology.

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