The London 2012 Olympic torch began its 70 day tour of the British mainland and islands in May. Community celebrations have been taking place as it travels around as it has been coming within 10 miles of almost everyone in Britain.
For the past 10 days the torch has been travelling around Yorkshire and yesterday, on a sunny day, it came through the surrounding villages and suburbs of Sheffield before arriving in the main square in the city centre for the evening event of lighting the city's Olympic cauldron.
All the torchbearers have been nominated by someone they know because they have done something extraordinary in their lives, as well as in the sporting field, and there was a great turnout by local communities to cheer on each man, woman and child who had been given this honour; the Olympic spirit being one of friendship, unity and peace. An average of 115 torchbearers a day carry the torch for some 300 yards before passing the flame onto the next runner and the last bearer will light the cauldron in the Olympic stadium in London during the opening ceremony.
We were able to walk down to our local park where there was a large gathering for the event as the late afternoon timing meant that the children were out of school with their families and friends. We enjoyed the sense of history and the anticipation of the arrival of the nominated, local torchbearer and the Olympic torch team escort. Finally, the Olympic bus carrying the official team came into sight, moving slowly down a narrow road by the park. Knowing that the torchbearer was going to cross the park, we had been waiting at the entrance gate for quite a while when suddenly there was a flurry of activity and in a matter of seconds the runner had jogged passed and on towards the crowded streets of the city centre. I was able to take some photos (some clearer than others) as a personal record of a very special, one-off occasion in my life-time.
|The school children had been learning about the Olympics and had made torches to hang on the school fence.|