Congratulations to all the athletes in Oceania for your inspiring performances over the last 17 days.
By Chelsey Tattersall and Courtney Smyth
For the past 70 days the Olympic Torch has travelled all over the U.K., drawing large crowds of excited bystanders waiting for their turn to see the gold flame in action. With over 8000 torch bearers, all of England has been involved in this piece of Olympic history.
The torch has been through all of the major landmarks in London, including passing through the gates of Buckingham Palace. Crowds lined the streets to witness this tremendous occasion; even some of the Royal Family were on show. As the torch passed down Birdcage Walk on route to the Palace, everyone crammed the footpaths to get a glimpse and capture the moment.
Patriotism was ever present on the streets and Olympic fever even more so. English flags were on everything imaginable, worn on hats and t-shirts, and even dog collars.
People from all around the world have had the opportunity to touch and hold the torch as a way of representing their countries and athletes. Vanuatu athlete Anolyn Lulu bore the torch as it passed through Manchester. The Olympic torch gives people the chance to feel a part of this grand worldwide affair and the opportunity to shine on the world stage.
The Olympic torch means a great deal to sports people and spectators around the world. However, for the Oceania athletes, it is an object that reminds them that everything that they have worked, trained and dedicated their time for has paid off. The torch is a reminder that they have made it, and soon they will compete in front of the whole world.
Buckingham Palace and the surrounding grounds were full of people on the warm afternoon waiting for the torch to pass. Cheering could be heard as the torch was run down the street, the vibrant atmosphere made the Olympics feel even closer.
After the torch was carried down the street, it entered the Palace itself and was met by the Royal Family, including Prince William, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Windsor.
When all the hype and excitement of seeing the torch in real life was over, many people headed to Hyde Park to celebrate with picnics and a concert, eagerly waiting for the Games to begin. This was just the start of an amazing three weeks, with all the eyes on London for the 2012 Olympic Games.