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Olympic Torchbearers Named

The 41 torchbearers for the Christchurch leg of the Olympic Torch Relay on June 5 have now been confirmed. Bearers were chosen by the New Zealand Olympic Committee from nominations submitted late last year and include a number of local people who are seen to embody the Olympic Spirit. The list also features many well-known Cantabrians including:

Leslie Keast (Deputy Mayor), Julie Seymour (Captain - Canterbury Flames Netball Team), Erin Baker (Champion triathlete & City Councillor), Kevin Tutty (Sports Journalist - The Press), Graham Condon (wheelchair athlete & City Councillor), Brian Fowler (cyclist - Commonwealth Games gold & silver medallist), Danyon Loader (swimmer - double Olympic gold medallist), Robyn Judkins (effervescent organiser of Coast to Coast), Steve Gurney (Multi-winner of the Coast to Coast), Neroli Fairhall (archer - Commonwealth Games gold medallist), and Todd Blackadder (Captain - Crusaders Rugby Team).

The Olympic torch will arrive in Christchurch from Queenstown and start its Christchurch journey from the Airport at 4.15pm. The torch will be borne down Memorial Ave around city streets to Canterbury University grounds, through the grounds of Riccarton House, Mona Vale, around Hagley Park, along Worcester Boulevard via New Regent & City Mall to Cathedral Square.

Todd Blackadder will be the last runner and will hand the torch to Christchurch Mayor, Garry Moore in Cathedral Square. This will be followed at 6pm by a short ceremony to mark the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron.

The public are encouraged to attend the Cathedral Square Ceremony as well as getting out and supporting the runners by lining the route.

>From Christchurch the torch will travel to Wellington, Rotorua and Auckland before heading to Australia on the final leg of its journey.

Volunteers needed Christchurch people are being given a further opportunity to be involved in the Relay. Around 30 volunteers are needed to assist with staging the relay. A variety of roles will be required including Event Support, Torchbearer Support, and Crowd/Traffic Management. Anyone interested in being involved as a volunteer in the Olympic Torch relay can contact Melissa Slater at Christchurch City Council Leisure on ph 371-1776 for more details.


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