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Archive for July 24th, 2012

Odds Blog: Sue’s Olympic Experiences (1)

Posted by indigodream on 24 July, 2012

Tuesday 24th July

Me getting into the party mood – there was a great atmosphere in Richmond..

Today I was meant to be street roving in Richmond with a colleague from the local smoking cessation service – we were trying to raise awareness of our service and recruit people to the stop smoking groups that we’re running in August. From which you may have gathered that I am a qualified NHS smoking cessation adviser! Unfortunately we’re both a bit rubbish at approaching random people in the street so we found a good kerbside spot to watch the Olympic torch go by.

Now I’ve read many accounts of the torch relay and didn’t expect to be excited or moved by witnessing the event.

But the crowd lining the street in Richmond was infectiously happy – they were cheering passing cars even before the road was closed; they cheered the policemen; we all waved flags and streamers – Richmond was en fete in the sunshine. We didn’t really need the sponsors trucks to add to the excitement, but we all cheered them anyway. One nice touch was the policemen on their motorbikes and push-bikes passing close to the crowd and exchanging “high fives” with us as they drove past – great fun!

Then came the torch bearer – a young woman limping along wearing a beaming smile – it obviously meant the world to her – although I didn’t know her, I felt myself choking up with emotion at the sight of her and cheered her along. Her name is Sarah Austin, she was amazingly poised for a 15 year old – her story is here.

People often say that it is an honour to be a torch bearer, but today I thought that Sarah honoured the torch – how privileged it was to be borne aloft by this young woman. There must be many other inspirational bearers – not just the high profile celebrities – I’m so glad that I saw one of them today.

I will write a post about my Olympic volunteer experience soon – it is very different to Richard’s experience as I am based out at the rowing village i.e. rowers accommodation, at the Royal Holloway College in Egham – but more on that later….

A high or maybe a low five from a passing policemen – great fun…

The star of the show – Sarah Austin – what a great smile…

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