I have lost interest in most things to do with the Olympics in recent years - the increased commercialisation, involvement of professional sports men and women in what is still called an amateur competition, etc, have eroded my interest.
As a child I remember getting up at ridiculous times in the morning so I could watch the 1968 Mexico Olympic events live on our black and white TV. All of the competitors were truly amateur - accountants, postmen, lumberjacks, you name it they were there doing their stuff for the love of the sport, not for lucrative sponsorship deals. I remember wanting to be a marathon runner by the end of it! I was truly inspired.
For the rest of the summer I would run around "The Square" (a playing field at the end of my road), training for when I would be an Olympic runner. OK, I was 5 years old and eventually lost heart when I realised that of all the kids who played on "The Square", I was (due to my undiagnosed dyspraxia) by far the slowest over any distance you could imagine. Rather ironic, really. All these years later I am probably one of the fittest! Maybe a bit of that inspiration stuck after all?
These days my main interest is in the paralympics. Have you seen the wheelchair basketball? Outstanding stuff. Can't wait.
So, watch out for a post later on today, where I will share my Olympic Torch photos.
OK, I braved the crowd and, after an eternity of waiting and trying not to get pushed backwards through a shop window, the torch arrived:
(I filmed in HD, but it seems to have been downgraded in the upload process.)
I must admit that I was quite astonished by how excited everyone got and I am glad that I took the time to go. And the weather played along too - it was hammering down a couple of hours earlier!