Bolton School Senior Girls

Old Girl Rachel to Carry the Olympic Flame

Rachel Flanders, who left Bolton School in 2009, is set to carry the Olympic flame when it is processed through Bolton on Thursday 31 May and Friday 1 June. 

During her time at the School, Rachel, aged just 17 at the time, became the youngest person ever to row across the Atlantic Ocean. She made it into the record books after finishing the 3,000 mile Woodvale Challenge - the world's toughest rowing race - from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean. Rachel was part of an all-female team of four named the Atlantic Angels, that made the crossing in 74 days, 1 hour and 3 minutes, raising a significant amount of money for charity.

Rachel, now 21, said: "It is an honour to have been chosen from so many nominations to carry the Olympic Torch. My parents are thrilled and I think my mum is putting on coffee and Danish pastries for my supporters once they have watched me as it is such an early start. I am excited for the day as it should be a great experience and I hope to see some familiar faces cheering me on.  I really hope that I am carrying the torch past my old school as I think it will be great for an Old Girl to be cheered on by current pupils."

The torch comes to Bolton on Thursday, May 31, as part of its 70 day journey around the UK for the 2012 Olympic Games and will stay overnight before moving on to the next town. After travelling through the town the flame will arrive at the town hall before continuing on to Queens Park, where Bolton is hosting a free evening ticketed celebration. The torch will leave Bolton on June 1, just after 6am, from Victoria Square and will travel on to Chorley New Road, go down Scholes Bank in Horwich before arriving in Chorley at approximately 7.20am. An average of 115 torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic flame for about 300m each during its 8000 mile journey around the UK, before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 for the lighting of the cauldron at the opening ceremony. Communities are being urged to line the streets to celebrate the achievements of the inspirational torchbearers, chosen for their personal best stories or for making a real difference in their school or local community.

Rachel is currently studying a Masters Degree in General Engineering at Durham University, coming to the end of her second year of four. She trains with the Boat Club at Durham University, one of the best rowing universities.

Old Girl Rachel Flanders will carry the Olympic flame when it is processed through Bolton

Old Girl Rachel Flanders will carry the Olympic flame when it is processed through Bolton

Old Girl Rachel Flanders

Rachel rowing in a single scull in France on a training camp with Durham University Boat Club