Olympic Torch Relay, 02 July 2012

With 25 days, 05 hours and 41 minutes to go until the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the excitement levels here in the UK are rising by the minute. In spite of the doom-and-gloom economic and financial news we’re bombarded with every day, doubled up – so far – by the most miserable summer weather on record, the host nation is getting into the Olympic spirit and seems determined to enjoy the Games.

One of the brilliant initiatives of the London 2012 Organising Committee was to have the torch travel within 1 mile distance from 95% of the population of the UK. That’s like having the Olympic torch visit your back garden. To achieve this ambitious plan, the torch is being carried by 8,000 torchbearers up and down the country over a period of 70 days, up until the 27th of July.

Today, it was our turn to cheer and welcome the flame. A once-in-a-lifetime, not-to-be-missed event, especially since all 8,000 torches were made by a local company here, in our city. This little detail made the event even more special, as there was a feeling of entitlement and pride running through the crowd.

Luckily for us, the procession was scheduled to reach our corner of the world between 7.30 and 8.00 in the morning, which gave us plenty of time to go see it and still make it to school on time. We went out early – too early, thanks to Brianna who couldn’t contain her excitement – and occupied a strategic position on a traffic island, in the middle of the road. The 15-20 minutes wait gave us time to soak up the atmosphere.

And then they started coming.

First, there were a lot of police officers on motorcycles… Some of them were solemn and serious, whilst others worked the crowds, beeping their horns, waving and shaking hands with the people lining the road.

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Then the sponsors’ procession arrived…

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…followed by the torch and its bearer, flanked by two runners on either side…

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Cheers, applause, more cheers, and then it was over. The torch had moved on to the next roundabout to be cheered by other people and we returned home to get ready for school. But the feeling remained. We felt joyous, proud and energised. But, above all, we felt inspired.

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*** If you want to read more about the Olympic torch, its history or its route, click here. If you want to watch the Torch Relay live, click here.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Olympic Torch Relay, 02 July 2012

  1. That is indeed a brilliant idea to have the torch come so close to everyone. Nothing like getting everyone involved before the event, (a great management technique!) 🙂 We watched the swimming and gymnastics trials last night on TV here in the states. Everyone is getting excited here, too. Must be amazing for you. You’ll have to write more about what’s it like to be the host country!

    • You’re right, Robin, it’s exciting and amazing at the same time…I’ll definitely write more about this before and during the Games. As a family, we’re very much into sports, so we’re looking forward to it. We’ll probably be glued to the TV all day long 😀

  2. Looks like you had a great time greeting the torch in your town. I’m a bit envious of all the Olympics hoopla. It’s one of those rare things that makes me regret not having a tv. Hopefully I’ll find my favorite events streaming online.

    • Wow, you don’t have a TV…I really admire you for this, Pamela. My husband and I have thought about it, too, because we hardly ever find anything worth watching, but then we decided to keep it because there are a couple of programmes on kids’ TV that Brianna really likes. Might give it up in the future, though. With the Internet and live streaming, there wouldn’t be a need for it anyway. I’m sure you’ll be able to watch the Olympics online, so I wouldn’t worry x

  3. My nearest town, Wellingborough, had it on Monday. It is getting all over the place.

    • Hiya, Clare. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, I’ll come and check out your blog soon. Yep, it’s getting all over the place, as you say. Personally, I think they’ve done a great job with that and have got high expectations for the Games.

  4. It’s great to hear that the torches were made by a local company in your city.

  5. You must be getting excited as it gets closer. i know that even if I am not going to such things the excitement still festers and grows. I was all a twitter when we had the Rugby World Cup here…all a twiter…not a pretty sight

    • 😀 😀 You’re so funny, Jo! I know Rugby is big over your side of the world, so I completely understand how that happened 😉 We actually watched the Rugby World Cup, as we’re big fans of the sport… Brilliant. I hope the Olympics is a great success, they’ve definitely worked hard to make sure everything is perfect. Fingers crossed!

  6. So cool!!! I wish one day the flame will pass through my town 😉

  7. Congrats to you and your family Didi for getting a chance to enjoy such a rare event. It is nice that Brianna had a chance to see such an icon make its way through town. It must have been hard to come down and have school right after.

  8. Now you’re posting again I’m having trouble keeping up:) I’m not a big TV watcher but I’m hoping to have an aerial by the time the Olympics begins so I can watch some of it.

    I can imagine the thrill and pride you felt seeing the home-town-made torch pass by:) Great for Brianna to be able to experience it too, a memory to treasure!

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