Monday, July 2, 2012

Olympic torch comes to sheffield

Last week on an unusually sunny Monday, the Olympic torch came past the University. The University Arms was packed with a BBQ and jazz band,

and when we arrived at 5.30, about an hour before the torch was expected, there were already crowds on the pavement, and spilling onto the road, despite the best efforts of the police.

It was a real carnival,atmosphere, and the police told us that the torch would change bearers at then of Favell Road, which is where we positioned ourselves. We kept up to date with what was happening via the police radios, and twitter, and the police were out in force, and the outriders were high fiving the crowd.

Suddenly, the first part of the convoy came past. From a bus carrying the torchbearers, one was dropped off, and he stood in the road just by us. He looked very happy, and in no time at all, everyone wanted their picture taken with him, especially our international students and he was a real hit with the Chinese girls. He was from Madrid, and his mum and Dad who spoke no English at all were standing next to us.

The sponsors lorries were next, with loud music and lots of free bottles of coke!

Eventually we saw the torch bearer coming up the road, and the torch party gave instructions to the bearer near us. We got a really good view of "the kiss" as the flame passed for one torch to another

After wishing each other good luck, he was off on his leg, surrounded by the security team from The Met.

It was then a mass exodus into town, hundreds of people walking down West Street and Division St, as the torch took a slightly longer route via Ecclesall Road. The City Centre was packed,

but we managed to get fairly close to the stage, and just about saw the final torchbearer of the day come in.

And the cauldron lit. Seb Coe was interviewed by Toby Foster,

And the afternoon finished with some singers and dancers round the flame

Eventually the torch team lit a Davy lamp to keep the flame going over night, and the cauldron was extinguished. All in all, a great experience.

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