Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Flame goes out for first time in 2012 relay

This image released by LOCOG shows torchbearer 022 Leah Burch, center, carrying the Olympic flame through the town of Exeter on the leg between Plymouth and Modbury south west England Sunday May 20, 2012. The torch will be carried all over the British Isles by 8,000 chosen volunteers, mostly local heroes. Its 8,000-mile (12,875-kilometer) journey will linger on the iconic sites _ Big Ben, Stonehenge, the white cliffs of Dover _ and speed past less appealing areas. It ends up July 27 at the Olympic Stadium in London. (AP Photo/Ben Birchall/LOCOG HO)

Ben Birchall/AP

The Olympic torch was briefly snuffed out Monday during the relay leading up to the London 2012 Games.

The torch was attached to the side of Para-badminton player David Follett's wheelchair in the western England town of Great Torrington when the flame went out. London Olympic organizers blamed the incident on a malfunctioning burner.

Such occurrences are fairly common and organizers keep a "mother flame" in a protective lantern just in case.

Story continues below advertisement

Follett, who uses a wheelchair after being injured in a car accident at 19, was given a replacement torch and the relay continued. It is travelling on a 70-day, 12,875-kilometre trip around the U.K., with a stopover in Ireland.

Some of the torchbearers who have participated so far have put their torches up for sale on eBay. One torch is reported to have been sold for more than $240,000 (U.S.).

Others are listed for less. Some of the sellers said on eBay they will donate the proceeds to charity.

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.