Guest post from Jhon Bateman
On Tuesday 3 July, in Loughborough, I carried the London 2012 Olympic Torch for 440 metres as part of its 70–day relay across Great Britain before arriving at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July. I was runner 34 of the day, which meant that I was quite early on in the day – I had to be at the Collection Point for 8:00 ready to carry the torch at 10:42! The experience was amazing but over so quickly – the road was packed with people watching me go past, cheering me on and taking lots of photos. I loved it – I felt like a celebrity! I saw people I haven’t seen in years who had turned out to see me and young schoolchildren from the surrounding area all out ready to cheer me on.
After my leg of the relay, I got on to shuttle bus 2 at the back of the second convoy with all of the torchbearers who had already carried the torch. We were all so excited! Our bus was full of torchbearers waiting their turn but I was only the third on the bus, so I had a long wait afterwards. After travelling through three more towns after finishing Loughborough, we headed back to Loughborough University where our torches were decommissioned (this is where the gas canister is taken out) and given back to us.
I was quite a lucky torchbearer, as I was selected through the Coca-Cola selection campaign called Future Flames. Coca-Cola is one of the 3 presenting partners of the London 2012 Olympic Torchbearers alongside Samsung and Lloyds TSB/RBS. Future Flames are “exceptional young people who have been nominated by their communities”. As a Coca-Cola Future Flame, the Olympic Torch was purchased for you, you were given 2 VIP tickets to one of the Coca-Cola Special City Celebration events and photos are purchased for you!
Overall, I have really enjoyed the whole experience of being a London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer and will remember my Moment to Shine forever.