20 Feb 2018
Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) and the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony’s
organising committee are excited to announce 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 2 March at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, as part of the
lead-up to the twelfth 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 2-9 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 our very own 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.