Over the last couple of days, three friends of ours were privileged enough to be nominated to carry the Olympic flame. One is a man severely disabled by Parkinson’s Disease, and the other two are a married couple – the husband has acted as his friend’s carer over the years.
Today their local pub hosted a little party for them all, to celebrate this wonderful honour, and so that we, all their friends, could hear all about the experience, and see the duplicate Olympic torches that each carrier was given. I had thought that it would be simply a relay, with the “real” torch being passed from hand to hand, on a direct route to London, but this is not so – the actual flame is passed from torch to torch, and it has been travelling all around the country, giving many, many people the opportunity to be involved. Unfortunately we were not able to be present at the actual carrying by our friends, but it was great to be at the party today, and the weather was glorious, and a great time was had by all.
Here are the couple, holding their respective torches, and wearing their special London 2012 outfits.
Then they passed the torches to us to hold!
After they’d carried these duplicate torches, the gas cylinder had to be removed (health and safety) so unfortunately they couldn’t be used to illuminate their barbecues! Here is the London 2012 logo on the torch.
This is the “business end” of the torch.
A final picture showing the torch.
The pierced metal reminded me of sequin waste (what everyone now seems to be calling “punchinella” – a name I personally hate – I don’t know why…)! Each torch is full of symbolism. There are 8,000 holes, which as well as having the practical application of keeping the torch cool and keeping the weight down, represent the 8,000 people involved in the relay, which will be 8,000 miles long. Unlike previous torches which were round in cross-section, this one is triangular. The three sides represent various things: the three times the Olympics have been held in London (1908, 1948 and 2012); the Olympic motto is “Faster, higher, stronger”; and the idea of uniting “sport, education and culture” – and for us, three friends sharing a common experience!