Olympic Torch Gravesend
Friday 20th July 2012, yesterday, was the first day of summer holidays for us, no alarm, no waking tired girls up and coaxing them to eat, brush their teeth, dress and get to preschool, nope that’s all over after our fabulous leavers concert on Thursday.
So it should have been a lazy morning but it wasn’t as today the Olympic Torch was coming along Rochester Road at 9.50 and I wanted to make sure we were there.
I know the twins probably don’t get the significance of the moment. They won’t know that it’s most likely a Once In A Lifetime experience but I do and I wanted them to be there.
So after a very short lay-in, we were up, fed, washed and dressed and heading out of the door by 9 o’clock.
‘Are we going to pre-school mummy?’ piped up a little voice from the backseat.
‘No, today we’re going to see the Olympic Torch.’
Paul had been quite anti this idea, ‘You won’t find parking,’ ‘It’ll be overcrowded’ ‘You won’t see anything’ ‘They don’t understand anyway’ but I didn’t sway. I’m going to give it a go, I thought to myself, if I can’t find parking or the girls are getting squashed and uncomfortable, if it rains/snows/whatever…I will simply turn around and come back home.
I’m so pleased we went as we found a fabulous position at the start of the Gravesend route. As the girls were small other viewers allowed us to pass in front and I crouched down so as not to curb anyone’s view. However, with 100’s of spectators inching their way forward to get a better photo I found I had to too!
We had a cameraman right by us and he filmed the girls who looked quite bemused by it, ‘Smile.’ I coaxed, ‘Wave your flags’ and they did try that goofy expression they seem to think is ‘camera smiling’
The woman to start the Gravesend Relay was a gorgeous athletic lady who I recognised but couldn’t place her, only doing a quick search on the London 2012 site I discovered it’s Fiona May! She lives in Italy too and ended up changing her nationality to Italian so she could get sponsors and compete at World level. She has two world medals and two silver Olympic medals to her name. Brava Fiona!
I have seen many write their experiences, I agree with them, the torch passes by so quickly it’s over in a flash but the unity and joy of the crowds is something that stays with you, even when you’re walking back to your car. You feel as if you’ve been part of something, witnessed something special.
There is so much controversy around the Olympics right now, the Labour party constantly slating the Conservative party. We apparently have no security in place and yet we have highly trained gunmen on top of blocks of flats and the residents fighting to remove them.
Can Britain pull it off? I’d like to think we can.
Yes it’s cost us a fortune we can barely afford but had we known the world financial industry was going to collapse and us with it, I doubt anyone would have bidded! We’re in it now and we have to do the best we possibly can.
I can’t wait to see Usain Bolt sprint on English turf, I can’t wait to mentally somersault across the floor with the best gymnasts in the world, swim with the synchronists and watch in awe those fellas on the rings as every muscle pops out in their necks with the strain of hanging arms stretched wide. Ouch
Bring on the Olympics and let’s throw the world a party to remember!