Olympic Spirit

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Not even the heavens opening deterred the residents of Hemel Hempstead swarming with people huddling under umbrellas and sipping take-away coffee. It seems that community spirit was at its finest in the town centre this afternoon for the Olympic Torch Relay. With the torch travelling within an hour of 95% of the country, it was a real honour to have it pass through Hemel Hempstead.

The torch travelled from St Albans to Leverstock Green, through the Marlowes, up Queensway and onto Luton. It was both enlightening and inspiring seeing the torch being passed onto 67 year old David Butler outside Specsavers at around 5:45pm, as hundreds of supporters cheered in encouragement and waved English flags in joy. David came across as incredibly admirable as his courage and pride shone through.

David from Hertfordshire is a triple amputee as a result of a bomb accident at the age of 11 and his positive contribution towards the relay spread a smile across many supporters in the town centre today. The town was bustling with children eager to have their photograph taken with the local torch bearer and police officers ensuredoptimum safety which enabled the operation to run both smoothly and successfully.

Despite the attitude of the minority seeing it as an over publicised and insignificant event, it was certainly refreshing to see such community spirit among the locals. Maximum effort was applied by all of Hemel Hempstead's torch bearers alongside the oldest contributer David Butler, the youngest torch bearer Rachel Gower (12) and the other sixteen torch bearers.

If the town experiences this much enthusiasm and encouragement 19 days before the official opening ceremony, then I can only begin to imagine the huge amount of support and optimism throughout the country, when the London 2012 Olympics begin which will undoubtedly create an energetic atmosphere. With the last Olympics being held in this country in 1948, many saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity never to be forgotten.




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