Take 2 — London Calling
Chasing down the Olympic torch
Today was the first morning I didn't have to wake up for class. Instead of sleeping in, I was up at 6 a.m. to get a glimpse of the Olympic flame. It was still cool when I left my flat and I was relieved that I forced myself to get up early rather than jostle with a crowd in afternoon temperatures that are set to approach 90 degrees.
I walked to an area where two famous train stations meet St. Pancras and King's Cross. St. Pancras is gorgeous and looks like an old castle, while King's Cross is where Harry Potter and crew took off for Hogwarts on Platform 9 and three-quarters. People were already lining the street, but I was able to squeeze my way into a front row space.
I was surprised that traffic continued as usual. The street wasn't blocked off and there weren't any barricades to keep the crowd back. The torch parade started about 10 minutes after I arrived. The Olympic sponsors have big vans with music and dancers to hype up the crowd. It was fun cheering on the volunteers who hand out British flags to as many people as possible.
Soon after the parade started, a police escort came through and the Olympic flame soon followed! All the spectators ran into the street and I quickly lost my front row spot. It happened very fast, but I was able to snap a few photos. The man carrying the golden torch was having a great time. His smile was huge and he was holding his arms out to the crowd. I learned later that his name is Luke Corduner and he was nominated because he is an exceptional PE teacher.
The crowd completely dispersed once the flame rounded the corner. It was still early and the torch has more than 30 miles to cover before this evening. More than 170 people will carry the torch today, with a giant celebration happening at its final stop in Hyde Park tonight. Tomorrow the torch will finally make it to the Olympic Stadium to officially kick off London 2012.