Jim Lavin, professor of health and physical education, has been chosen to be an Olympic torchbearer for the London 2012 Olympic Games. More than 60,000 people were nominated for this honor; only 8,000 were chosen. The criterion for the honor was that the torch bearer has an inspirational story to tell, and has helped to shape sporting excellence in the United Kingdom. Lavin was chosen because he has been training physical education teachers in England for 30 years. During that time, he has influenced thousands of physical education teachers and, indirectly, thousands of children.
A precise ritual for the lighting of the torch is followed at every Olympic Games. It is first lit from the sun's rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia, in a traditional ceremony amid the ruins of the home of the ancient Games. After a short relay around Greece, the torch will be taken to England, where it will visit more than 1,000 towns and cities. "I feel proud and honored to have been chosen to carry the Olympic torch. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the Olympic ideal," said Lavin. "I came to Eastern because of a longstanding link between my university in the United Kingdom and Eastern in the field of Physical Education. Eastern has an outstanding reputation in Physical Education and Sports and Leisure Management, and I feel privileged to be part of this."
Lavin will carry the torch on June 22 through his home town of Kendal in Cumbria, England. He will be in a uniform provided by his sponsor, Lloyds TSB, and will run about 300 yards before he passes the flame onto the next torch bearer.