In 2012 the United Kingdom played host to the Summer Olympics, held in the Capital city, London. Over 70 days leading up to the games, the Olympic Torch toured Britain, from the Channel Islands, through England, Wales, over to the Isle of Man, Ireland and Northern Ireland, up to Scotland and back to London. I caught up with the torch as it passed through the town of Southport, on day 14.
Lord Street, the main street running through Southport that goes past the War Memorial, some of the gardens and the main shops, was closed to let the convoy arrive, which was on it’s way from Ormskirk. We were stood in the middle of Lord Street to watch the convoy come past.
8000 Torch Bearers carried the flame the 8000 miles around the British Isles, each runner doing a few metres of the route in the towns and cities it went through. Between the major places it was taken by car, and on ferries/planes to the Channel Islands and Ireland.
The relay began on 10 May 2012, starting in Land’s End, Cornwall. From here it passed through Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and then up through South, Mid and North Wales to Cheshire and Shropshire. Then it moved through South Lancashire into Merseyside to Southport.
It wasn’t just the runner that came through, but a whole convoy of different vehicles, including a lot of security.
There were various vans for company’s like Coca-Cola who were sponsoring the relay, and there were lots of advertisements by the different companies. My favourite addition to the relay was…
This cheerful chappie came bounding through next, on some very springy shoes. It was very amusing. After all of the advertising, the Torch Bearer arrived!
The big moment had come, and the Torch looked magnificent as it went past us. From here it made it’s way to Liverpool, to a ferry for the Isle of Man, then up to Derry in Northern Ireland, down to Dublin, and back round to Belfast in Northern Ireland. The next major stop was Glasgow, through the Highlands, back through Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Newcastle to Yorkshire. The East of England saw the flame next as it went all the way down to the Channel Islands in the South, then up through Hampshire into London for the last leg on 27 July 2012. To see the route in detail click here.
The fantastic opening ceremony followed, and the games began. To see highlights of the games click here.
The United Kingdom performed admirably in the games, coming an amazing 3rd with 65 medals (29 Gold) behind only the USA and China. The games were an event to remember, and London became the first ever city to host the Summer Olympics three times.