Today’s the day the massive publicity around the Olympics really kicks off, with the Olympic flame arriving to start it’s 8,000 runner jaunt around the UK. Each runner gets the chance to purchase their Torch (once the gas canister is removed and the burner assembly deactivated), although if were selected as a runner by Coca-Cola they’ll kindly pay for your Torch for you. If you’re one of the runners selected by LOCOG then they’ll want you to cough up a couple of hundred quid if you want to keep your torch, but don’t try to pay by Mastercard – it’s Visa only for Olympic events.
The Olympic flame was lit in Athens and after a week of events in Greece it’s now on it’s way to the UK. The Torches used for London 2012 will be made up of an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin. These skins are held in place by a cast top piece and base with 8,000 circular holes laser cut into each Torch representing the 8,000 runners. Once cut the metal is pressed into the tapered triangular form, welded and then the emblem of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay is attached and the entire torch has a gold coloured finish applied.
Of course the chances are high that with around 100 Torches a day being used in the 70 day relay around the country that a few of the torches will pop up on eBay. I doubt Ben Ainslie who’s running the first leg from Lands End will flog his, but a few of the other 7,999 runners almost certainly will.
There are a couple of Olympic Torches for sale on eBay from previous games, and the prices start at around £1500, so if you are a runner and don’t particularly want to keep your Torch it’ll probably prove to be a great investment. The earliest runners are probably best positioned to get the best price for their Torch as by the time runners later in the 70 day relay get theirs they won’t be quite as rare.