Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) and the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony’s organising committee have announced Ali Jawad and Sophie Christiansen CBE as official torchbearers in this year’s event, ‘Spirit of Endeavour’.
Paralympians, Ali Jawad and Sophie Christiansen, will take centre stage at this year’s Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony on Friday 2nd March at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, as part of the lead-up to the 12th Paralympic Winter Games. Para-equestrian Dressage rider, Sophie Christiansen, has competed in four successive Paralympic Games and is an eight-time Paralympic Champion with multiple world and European titles. She was awarded a CBE in the 2017 New Year Honours List for services to Para-equestrianism. Ali Jawad is a British powerlifter who won his first Paralympic medal in Rio, after securing silver in the men’s -59kg category, lifting a best of 190kg.
The ceremony will see the first flame of the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games Torch Relay ignited in Stoke Mandeville, the birthplace of the Paralympic movement. It will then continue to take place in South Korea between 2nd-9th March with torchbearers covering a distance of 2018km. The relay’s motto is “Let Everyone Shine” and embodies the Paralympic spirit of creating infinite possibilities and outcomes by incorporating the infinity symbol (∞) in the form of the number ‘8’ throughout the journey.
Eight flames will be lit over the eight days and the journey will feature 800 torchbearers. This includes one in Stoke Mandeville Stadium, one in South Korea’s capital, Seoul and one each from Jeju Island, Anyang, Nonsan, Gochang, and Cheongdo, all cities which provide accessible tourism facilities and services in South Korea for people with disabilities. The eighth and final flame will be a digital flame, formed by all the virtual sparks sent by fans all over the world.