THE Olympics may still be a year away - but a London Olympics torch has already been carried through Doncaster.
Not the 2012 model mind you - this was the 63-year-old version which was used to light the Olympic flame back in 1948!
The iconic torch was brought up to South Yorkshire for a youth athletics event at High Melton.
It was used when the Olympics was last held in England - and more than 60 years later featured in a relay race at the end of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust volunteer ambassador athletics event at High Melton College.
More than 50 people took part in the event run by volunteer Ambassadors from Doncaster College who work with schools in Rotherham and Doncaster.
The organisers were all Ambassadors on a project called ‘mygames’, which calls on young people to undertake exciting volunteering projects, in their community, that promote and celebrate the values of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The aim of the programme is to promote the values of the Olympic games which include friendship, respect, excellence, equality and determination and to connect these communities to the exciting build up to 2012.
Josh Wroot, aged 18, a ‘mygames’ ambassador from Doncaster who organised the event, said: “It was a great day and a privilege to hold the 1948 Olympic Torch.”
Andy Lock, Coalfield Regeneration Trust assistant director and Sports Legacy Programme manager, said: “This fantastic event is another example of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust’s Sports Legacy programme investing in young people, encouraging volunteering and giving coalfields kids the opportunity to get their hands on a piece of Olympic history.”
The 12th Olympics were originally due to be held in 1940 in Tokyo, but were eventually cancelled after the outbreak of World War Two.
Optimistically, the International Olympic Committee chose London to host the 13th Games in 1944, only to see them cancelled again. When the war was finally over, London got to host the Olympics.
But with rationing still in place, the 1948 games became known as the ‘Austerity Games’. Next year’s London Olympics opens on July 27.