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TOMORROW'S WORLD
21 May 2012
OLYMPIC TORCH UP FOR SALE ON EBAY HOURS AFTER IT ARRIVES IN UK

It was meant to be a chance for ordinary people across Britain to inspire others with the Olympic spirit. But one of the torchbearers who carried the Olympic flame on its first day in Britain appears to have been more inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit, and wasted no time in putting their torch up for sale on eBay.

The torch has so far attracted 18 bidders and the price had already reached £1,550 by Saturday afternoon. But buyers may be more wary of making an investment in the London 2012 Games when they discover 8,000 torches will be will be given out to nominated bearers over the next 69 days, up until the Olympics begin.

The torch is made up of an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin, held in place by a cast top piece and base, perforated by 8,000 circles. It stands 800mm (31 inches) high. The successful bidder will also receive an extra large torchbearer's uniform.

Torchbearers are described by the Olympic Committee as "8,000 inspirational people who will carry the Olympic Flame as it journeys across the UK. Nominated by someone they know, it will be their moment to shine, inspiring millions of people watching in their community, in the UK and worldwide."

According to the organisers of London 2012, the torches are worth £495 but the bearers paid only £215 for them, with London 2010 funding the difference.

A spokeswoman for London 2012 said the bearers were free to do what they wanted with the torches. "We just hope they go to a good home."

The torch was designed by east Londoners Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, who won a competitive tender run by the London 2012 Organising Committee and the Design Council. It was further developed and produced by Basildon-based product engineers Tecosim, Birmingham-based LPG Gas specialists, Bullfinch and Coventry manufacturers Premier Sheet Metal.

In April 2012 the torch was recognised as the design of the year at an awards ceremony hosted by the Design Museum in London.

Source: guardian.co.uk

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