THE INTERNATIONAL Olympic Committee (IOC) announced in Lausanne the winners of the inaugural Juan Antonio Samaranch Medal for Olympic Collecting.
The award was introduced by the IOC in 2012 to honour the legacy of former IOC President Samaranch, an avid Olympic collector who introduced programmes to encourage the collection and study of Olympic stamps, coins and memorabilia during his time in office.
The medal is awarded each Olympiad to individuals or organisations that have made long and outstanding contributions to Olympic collecting at local, national or international levels.
The winners of the Juan Antonio Samaranch Medal for Olympic Collecting for the XXX Olympiad are:
Jaroslav Petrasek, Czech Republic, for active leadership in Olympic philately internationally, nationally and locally; Donald Bigsby, US, for establishing and leading the world's largest Olympic memorabilia club, Olympin; Donald Mackay-Coghill, Australia, for developing and leading initiatives to bring coin collecting to the general public; the China Post Group, China, for the development and promotion of Olympic collecting in China.
The medals were presented to the winners by IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, son of the late IOC president, on 22 June in Lausanne.
THE OLYMPIC Flame reached Bowness-on-Windermere on Day 34 of the Torch Relay, where its arrival marked the beginning of the London 2012 Festival. The torch began the day in Dumfries before travelling over 120 miles to the Lake District, in Cumbria.
On its way, it passed landmarks such as the Robert Burns statue in Dumfries and Whitehaven Harbour before travelling on an open-top bus in Grasmere and a steamboat across Lake Windermere.
The torch was carried by 114 inspirational torchbearers over the course of the day, including full-time carer Demelza Powell, who was nominated for her voluntary work with disabled children, and Michael Park, who was nominated for his work with the Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team -- a charitable and voluntary organisation based in Cumbria.
The Olympic Flame arrived for an evening celebration at The Glebe, Bowness-in-Windermere, which will be one of the five opening events of the London 2012 Festival.
London 2012 Festival
THE LONDON 2012 Festival is set to begin with five major events being held across the UK on 21 June. The 12-week festival is the culmination of the four-year Cultural Olympiad and will feature a wide variety of art forms, with spectacular events taking place in Stirling, Derry-Londonderry, South Wales, the Lake District, and Birmingham.
In Stirling, world famous conductor Gustavo Dudamel will lead The Big Concert with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The concert will also be screened live on London 2012 Live Sites in 22 towns and cities across the UK.
In Derry-Londonderry, Pixie Lott and Imelda May will lead the free Peace One Day concert, celebrating the theme of the ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce, while Lake Windermere, in the Lake District, hosts On the Nightshift, a free outdoor pyrotechnic and percussion extravaganza.
Birmingham will play host to The Voyage, which will see a gigantic ship sail into the city centre accompanied by dancers and aerialists, while Carmarthen, in Wales, will welcome artist Jeremy Deller's life-size inflatable replica of Stonehenge, Sacrilege, which will "pop up" for the first time at the National Botanical Gardens.
Running until 9 September 2012, the London 2012 Festival will feature more than 25,000 artists from more than 200 competing Olympic nations.