The flame was flown from Greece (where the previous Olympic and Paralympic games were held) and arrived in the UK on the 18th May 2012.
The light weight gold painted strong aluminium torch contains 8000 holes which represent the 8000 inspirational runners. The holes also help the heat to disperse so the torch bearer doesn’t get burnt.
On Friday 25th May 2012, the Olympic flame came through my local area, Old St Mellons, Cardiff, on it’s 70 day relay journey around the UK. This was its first stop in Cardiff.
The weather was great, dry, sunny, clear skies and warm, with a slight breeze.
My mum, brother and his girlfriend, my son and I went to watch.
It was a brilliant atmosphere, so many people come to see and cheer the torch on, and be part of a piece of history in our life time.
There was a lot of security, police horses, motorbikes, cars, vans, cyclists, but I partly expected that, from watching the tv and how tight security was going to be.
We got there an hour early (expected at 5.32pm), chose a spot where there was a gap to watch the torch pass, up a few metres from the white Porta cabin hut they erected. As the time went by more and more people arrived, all trying to get a space so they could get a glimpse.
When the torch bearer Andy appeared, to await the arrival of the flame, it all went a bit crazy! Hundreds of people wanted to see the torch, and get a picture, they all dived on him surrounding him. He was about 2 metres away from me, so as you can imagine, I was tightly packed in. I couldn’t see anything, as I was in my wheelchair, and I had a towering of people around me. They were almost sitting on my lap and falling back on me! My mum was as the side of me, with Cody in his pram, and Rhys and Amanda were behind me.
One of the Olympic torch bearer staff, spotted me, and asked if I had seen the torch, in which I said I hadn’t, he called Andy over to show me. I felt so lucky!
My mum got Cody out if the pram do he could sit on my lap and see and touch the torch. It was glimmering shiny gold in the lovely bright sunshine.
The relay runner Andy, posed in a picture with us. Wow! What an experience!
The bus and car convoy came past, blasting music and dancing, everyone in a happy smiley mood waving, shouting and cheering!
Then the previous torch bearer relay runner arrived, along with the second convoy of vehicles and security and they lit the torch. This part is known as ‘kissing’ when the one torch flame is used to light the next one.
The crowds were so excited! It was then Andy’s ‘moment to shine’ and he was off. There were many people all the way up the road as far as the eye could see.
I’m so glad I went! I’m going to write it in Cody’s keepsake baby book, so in years to come he can look back on it, and see that when he was 12 months old, he had touched the Olympic torch and been a part of history.