Yesterday was Day 66 of The Olympic Torch Relay and it proved to be another high point of the tour. A total of 187 torchbearers got the opportunity to carry the flame including sports personalities, campaigners and activists, actors and extraordinary people from the local community.
Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, who was tragically murdered in the early 90’s, carried the torch to the learning centre she created in memory of her son, located in south-east London. She passed the flame onto athlete and gold medallist, Marlon Devonish who was followed by torchbearers selected from the local community.
Later in the day footballer Michael Owen carried the torch at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home where he was accompanied by a rescue dog called Rory. The footballer is said to have a passion for animals and owns a number of rescue dogs, which is why he chose to hold the torch on behalf of Battersea; a charity that I’m personally fond of because they’ve worked relentlessly in helping find homes for vulnerable dogs and cats for many years.
After spending time at Battersea the torch then moved onto Wimbledon where Britain’s number one tennis player, Andy Murray was handed the torch. Just a fortnight after losing the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer, Andy walked the torch onto Centre Court where he hopes to achieve gold for Team GB during the Olympic Games.
After his stretch in the torch relay, a pleased looking Andy Murray, passed the flame to five times Wimbledon winner, Venus Williams and to continue the tennis theme, Tim Henman was given the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron at a celebratory gathering in Tooting Bec Common as the last torchbearer of the day.
In a slightly odd twist, the Olympic Torch Relay was featured on a live episode of soap opera Eastenders last night. The character, Billy Mitchell, carried the torch through the fictional London borough of Walford after scriptwriters arranged for him to be nominated and selected as a torchbearer like thousands of ordinary people across the country. I watched the episode and thought it worked really well, capturing the spirit of the Torch Relay.by