TUESDAY 10 JULY 2012 CARRYING THE OLYMPIC FLAME
A huge honour to carry the Olympic Flame
This morning I had one of the experiences of a lifetime: I was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch in Oxfordshire. My assigned patch was in Wallingford. I collected my torch from Wallingford School in St George’s Road, and began my run – well, more a trot – at the High Street along St Martin’s Street. I covered a distance of 0.2 of a mile.
I was scheduled to start at approximately 08:31:18 (some approximate, no?!) and this walk/run/jog of a lifetime took me approximately 10 minutes. (Now that’s a genuine “approximately,” as you might remember that a couple of years ago I was on crutches after breaking my leg and ankle. It was a good thing that the brief from the organisers was “take it at the pace you want to.”)
The weather was, of course, as un-summer-like as it has been for so many weeks now. But the slight 6.40 a.m. chill (that’s when I had to check in and show my photo-ID at Wallingford School) was a disguised blessing – the perfect temperature for physical exercise, and at least it wasn’t pouring with the rain we have had in Oxfordshire for what seems like forever.
You are allowed to buy the torch at the end of the run, and of course I did so. I am now debating whether to keep it as a precious reminder of the thrilling experience, or to auction it for charity. I’ll let you know when I’ve decided what to do with the trophy from my day as an Olympic Torchbearer! Here are some photographs with Gary Jones, with Philip Newman-Hall and in the Raymond Blanc Cookery School after I returned to Le Manoir:
You can catch me on the 6 o’clock ITV news on Meridian tonight (Tuesday 10 July), when I will talk about this wonderful event and what it meant to me to take part.
PS Please tell me what you think of my blogs and my website: I want to hear from you!
DVD of Raymond Blanc's hugely successful five part series - The Very
Hungry Frenchman - broadcast on BBC2 earlier this year, is now on sale.
To purchase your copy from Amazon, please click on the link below:
If you would like a signed copy of the DVD, this can be ordered via Le Manoir's website. Please click on the link below and request a signed copy in the 'special instructions' box at checkout:
Follow Raymond Blanc on Twitter
Contact Raymond via the Contact page of the website