Personally I was not that enthusiastic about seeing some local person (although I am sure well deserved) running through the streets on a rainy July day carrying a flame in one of many golden torches. I did realise that I was in the minority and that my own family and many of my friends did not share my view. So slightly reluctantly I joined friends and family in town to join the throng awaiting the burning torch.
I have to admit that the town was buzzing, full of people, food outlets and stalls selling goods of all kinds. After looking around these and buying a delicious Italian sausage hot dog we made our way to the route to get front row positions.
We were there in plenty of time, finding a good spot which would provide a great viewing opportunity. Then came the inevitable souvenir sellers. Medals, flags, blow up torches (air not included) were on sale. We managed not to succumb to their wares and instead accepted some free flags and balloons being handed out by local companies.
The spectator numbers soon filled out and it became evident that this torch relay had grabbed the attention of the population.
Then, down the road, proceeded by police motorbikes and flanked by out-runners the runner appeared, gleaming with pride, carrying the torch aloft; the flame defying the wind and the threatened rain shower. The crowd clapped, cheered, stood in the road and jostled each other for the best photo. Then she was past.
Walking back to the car park I saw many friends and acquaintances and I have to admit that the spirit of the Olympics had made it to my hometown. The Olympics are not just about superhuman people doing superhuman things. They are about the world coming together to focus on one thing, putting its problems and politics to aside, just for a few weeks. On a smaller scale that happened today.
Maybe I should stop being so bah humbug?