18th June 2012 and the Olympic flame came through Redcar & Cleveland. My part in this flames journey was to carry it just 300 metres through the town where I work, Saltburn.
It is very difficult to explain in words just how I felt (excited just didn’t come close). The bus behind me had a banner “Your moment to shine” and it was just a moment but packed with pride and so many people cheering through the streets.
This flame had started its journey in
and ignited from the rays of
the sun; this was a very special flame that was not going to be allowed to go
out. Coca Cola called us Future Flames and I felt that was right as I work with
young people and they are our future today. The torch is beautiful and holds
8,000 holes; one for every torch bearer and for the 8,000 mile journey this
flame makes to the Olympic games in Greece .
The triangular shape of the burner holds two Olympic mottoes: London
- Stronger, Faster, Higher – in our endeavours
- Respect, Excellence, Friendship – for each other
The second of these calls for respect in how we compete/ live. Then to do everything with excellence, which is not always to be the best but to do what ever we do, the best we can. Often I am asked if I will sell the torch and how much it is worth, we usually reach a point in the discussion when it is agreed that the torch is valuable beyond just money. Money cannot buy friendship and we should treasure our friends because their value is priceless.
Soon it was time to pass the flame to Gerry who came rushing up to meet me; he was so excited and shook my hand firmly. This was the end of my time with the flame; someone else must now carry it further. There was learning to be had here, that for something to go on – I had to let go, to pass it on to the next man; my moment to shine was over but the flame can and does live on within all torch bearers; we just love to tell the story. The Olympics are about inspiring a generation and working with young people, I would like to think I can play a part in inspiring them to achieve their dreams, do what ever they do with excellence and value their friendships.
The best way to predict the future – is to create it.