Relay, relay good: The Olympic flame runs on!
It’s 7am and I’ve just dragged my little sister out of bed on the first day of her summer holiday. What an evil big sister I am, right? Wrong, I’m actually being awesome by taking my 9-year-old sister with me to see the Olympic torch pass through our home town of Bromley.
We line up along the road a good 40 minutes before the torch is due to come through, there is no way we are going to be stuck at the back of the crowd! The atmosphere is fantastic with people draped in flags and kids clutching Olympic mascot toys.
I spend the time explaining to Monica how lucky she is to be seeing the torch relay and how she’ll probably never get to see it again up close. She replies by earnestly assuring me that it would be best if the Olympics could be in London every time. I’m not sure the public transport network could handle it!
A torching display
Fifteen minutes before the torch is due to pass, the procession begins and more and more people joined the crowd, jostling to get a good view.
Trucks and open-top buses provided by the Olympic sponsors are pretty impressive. People on the top play tambourines, shake maracas and dance to music. You have to wonder whether they were as enthusiastic in the pouring rain across the country over the last few weeks.
Seeing the torch come through is pretty special - the flickering flame, the cheering crowds and dashing decorations - but it’s even more amazing because the torch bearer we are going to see is an old friend of mine, Jamie Narborough.
The joy on Jamie’s face was clear to see as he took his turn with the torch, giving us all a wave as his torch was lit.
He was nominated by his parents, who describe him as an ‘inspiration, a fantastic role model to others’ and a determined worker who ‘makes the most of every opportunity that comes his way’.
Jamie, who is studying geography at Queen Mary University London, has overcome many difficulties – being born disabled and suffering from cancer at six years old – but he shines brighter because of these qualities. Among other achievements, while at school he spent time as an anti-bullying councillor, worked in the school library and was awarded with the position of head boy.
He said: ‘Since the London Olympic Games were announced in July 2005, I have been keen to get involved in as many ways as possible and I now have the ultimate involvement. To be part of the torch relay is an overwhelming experience. When I found out I had a place, I spoke to my parents to thank them for my nomination and to thank them for their support through some of the darkest times.
‘Reflecting on the process, I realise how my story can be inspirational. I hope other people hear about this and perhaps challenge themselves to do something they may have felt was beyond them.’
'I can't think of anyone more deserving of being a torch bearer'
For me, Jamie represents how you can achieve anything if you try hard enough, and how important it is to never stop trying no matter how many challenges are put in your way.
In a way this is what the Olympics are all about, pushing yourself as far as you can go, proving that you can do more than you expected. It’s not just the athletes who show us that, but everyday people too. I’m really proud to say that I know Jamie, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of being a torch bearer.
Well done Jamie!
By Rosie Rutherford, Media Intern
Other stories by Rosie
- Time travelling through south London, a visit to our archives
- Sensational smoothies, rapid rock-climbing and lots and lots of rain, a report from this year's Young Carers Festival
- Introducing Rosie Rutherford, Media Intern