Friday, 27 July 2012

The Olympic Games are here!

The 2012 Olympic Games are finally here and we will be posting each evening on the day’s events from the point of view of the fencing organisers, volunteers, armourers and perhaps the athletes themselves.

Although as a nation we have an “It will be alright on the night” attitude and we have already flown the wrong flag, and we might play the wrong national anthem, we may get athletes names mixed up, and we may not run to schedule all the time, I’m sure this will be a great games and lets hope we win some medals across the sports.

For me the best part has already happened; Elliott Grover carrying the Olympic Torch will be a memory I will never forget. Although we have already covered the occasion from a spectators point of view, Ells has sent his account whilst on holiday, and this will be the final story we post before the games begin.

Well done Ells, we are all so very proud of you.

My Torch Bearing Experience by Elliott Grover

“On July 18th 2012 I was given the opportunity to do something that I am certain I'll remember by for the rest of my life.

Nominated by my coach Tim O'Conor to carry the Olympic Torch on its way through Ashford, this great honor I was given was not due to my efforts alone, but by the strength and co-ordination of my fencing team and the guiding hand of its Head Coach.

Arriving at the meeting point I got the first opportunity to meet the other Torchbearers where we exchanged our stories along with our nervous jokes about being the first one to fall over and thereby be cemented in the history of the London 2012 Olympics.

I was particularly overawed by members of my group who were past Olympians as well as currently coaching in their sport.

I was given the task of doing a double-shift which I thought was brilliant, having the opportunity to perform this honor not once but twice.

The time had come for us to board the bus where we were given the first sighting of  our Olympic Torches. I was amazed at the camaraderie of our group as we waved at the crowds as well as cheering our members off the bus to start their run.

My run began just as we entered Ashford, the sheer size of the crowd astounded me and as soon as I stepped of the bus I was greeted by crowds of people cheering, those closest were taking pictures and a young mother even asked if she could take a picture with her baby.

Next Sponsors buses from Coca-Cola and Samsung went past shouting my name out of a megaphone and I couldn't stop smiling, once the flame was lit I started running my stint, and seeing my friends and family on my right as I started really made my day, especially my friends who made the journey up to Ashford to see me.

I was astounded by the huge numbers of crowds cheering me on as I travelled past schools and families. Once completed I gave the flame on to an equaling beaming torchbearer before getting back onto the bus.

They gave me my torch there and then and at the end I was exhausted but so happy.”

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