Watching a group of young acrobatic gymnasts turn themselves into a human Cauldron and Flame, made me ponder on the progress that we have made so far. At the beginning of this year, Team Torch travelled the length and breadth of the UK, meeting with representatives from every nation and regions to share with them the vision for the London 2012 Torch Relay. When we embarked on this tour, we were not entirely sure what to expect, despite our CEO telling me it was 'an easy sell’! In fact, it turned out to be just that.
The passion and excitement that the Torch Relay brings is infectious, and we were successful in passing on that excitement to the extent that every nation and region expressed an interest in hosting the Torch Relay in 2012.
For the UK, the Torch Relay will really be the 'Games on your doorstep'. From the moment it arrives from Greece, the Flame will travel the four corners of the UK, shining a light on our people and our places and telling our story. Whether you live in a town or a village, in a major city, a rural area or a coastal community, we want you to come out and celebrate the Torch Relay.
My experience of working on the Vancouver Torch Relay taught me just how potent, and emotional this journey might be. As the Torch Relay made its way into Vancouver for its last few days, literally thousands of people lined the streets, faces beaming, just to get a glimpse of the Flame.
I believe it will be the same here. There is a lot of work to do, of course. To spread the word. To help people understand how they can get involved. To ensure that each of our 8,000 Torch Bearers has the time of his or her life. This – and planning the route – is the next stage of our work here at London 2012.
We are only two years away from the arrival of the Olympic Flame. As we work towards this, I have a feeling that delivering this amazing project is also going to be quite a journey!