Thursday, 19 July 2012

Olympic Torch

The Olympic Torch will be passing within a few hundred yards of where I work later today.  I think I might pop out and see if I can get a few photos.  It would probably be a crime not to, really.

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:

video
(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!

13 comments:

wigsf3 said...

The olympic torch came through most of Canada two years ago. Didn't affect me at all. The Olympics don't interest me. I blame two things: 1) biased drug testing policies; and 2) many of the events are not sports.
Dressage is not a sport. Diving is just falling gracefully therefore, not a sport. Synchronized swimming, seriously? Gymnastics with that ribbon dance. If the contestants were of age it would basically just be a boring fan dance but because the contestants are all prepubescent Chinese girls, it's really only entertaining to sexual perverts.

Rock Chef said...

Wigsf - I think the inclusion of "beach volleyball" in addition to normal indoor volleyball supports your comments perfectly...

Shammickite said...

The Olympic torch came through my small town 2 yrs ago for the Vancouver winter Olympics.... and it was EXCITING! I got to hold the torch, and meet and chat with one of our gold medallists, Karen Cockburn, who lives here. She won gold in Beijing.,... trampoline. I'm rooting for her in London!
I agree... some of the Olympic sports are not really sports, but I still am going to be glued to the telly.... I love it!

Shammickite said...

and dressage definitely IS a sport.

Rock Chef said...

Shammickite - Agreed - getting a horse to do that stuff takes amazing skill!

Abby said...

The Olympics have also lost their allure with me compared to when I was a child. The whole family would watch together. Then like you, all us neighbor kids would go out and play "olympics" in the street.

In 2002 we lived near Salt Lake City for those winter Olympics, so it was hard to not be affected by the hoopla.

Beach volleyball has ruined my appetite for spectation.

Still, you're right to have gone out and joined the torch melee! Are you really that much taller than everyone or just doing the periscope move?

Shammickite said...

Hooray, you saw the torch go by.... I knew you would. And you even admitted to being glad you were there. You can't fight Olympic Fever!

ShadowRun300 said...

I wondered the same thing as Abby. Are you really that much taller?
The Olympics have definitely lost some of their appeal, to me anyway. But back in my little girl days, I dreamed of being a gymnast. Mary Lou Retton was my idol. And having lived in Greece for a while, the history of the Olympics fascinates me. It seems like it would be exciting to see the torch be carried by. Thanks for sharing!

Riot Kitty said...

They call it an amateur competition? Really? We should all go ;)

Rock Chef said...

Abby and SR300 - I am 6' 2" which does give me a slight advantage in a crowd, but I was also holding my camera up above my head...

Shammickite - MUST RESIST.....

Riot Kitty - It only seems to be amateur now in that there is no direct prize money...

agg79 said...

I used to feel that the Olympics was something we could all look up to. But with the inclusion of several new "sports", and the commercialization and politicization of the events has lost its allure to me.

agg79 said...

And, nice video of the torch. No matter how commercial it gets, no matter how much hype, it is a once in a lifetime deal and glad you were able to participate along with the rest of the mob.

CiCi said...

I too am glad you braved the crowds and got the video.