The torch has been running throughout Brazil — a rustic larger than the continental u.S.A. — since may 3. It has surfed, parachuted and canoed thru a number of the us of a’s most far flung corners.
At the massive day, we started out with a couple of live reviews because the torch commenced its winding manner across the metropolis of Curitiba, a much less distinct destination in Brazil’s south.
Children sporting Olympic mascots covered the course together with protesters taking gain of the media spotlight to denounce Brazilian politics.
We went off to a school wherein we met fellow runners and were given our uniforms and our individual torches.
Organizers advised us how it would paintings: every runner has his or her personal torch with a fuel canister in it. The primary torch bearer on our day turned into Brazilian Paralympic swimmer Moises Batista.
We might be dropped off along the course, two hundred meters aside. Simply before the preceding runner arrives, a guide walks you into the street and activates the gas. Then the 2 torches “kiss” and the flame comes alive!
We were told to run with our arm at a ninety-degree attitude: “it is super for the images, because the torch will usually be inside the body. Oh, and additionally that manner, your hair might not catch on fireplace.” suitable to understand.
Arwa and i proper up within the white and gold uniforms and had some time to horse around with our CNN colleagues earlier than heading to the van. Emails and messages have been all repeating: “do not drop the torch!”
at the van, it honestly sank in what an honor it turned into to be collaborating inside the relay.
Our institution of runners turned into selected by way of Coca Cola, an Olympic sponsor.
One at a time, they stood up and advised their memories: a PE teacher from Brazil who taught karate in the neighborhood favela to get kids off the road, an aspiring gymnast, a man who had run seven marathons on seven continents in seven consecutive days.
One man had to choke again tears as he instructed his story about working to offer nutritional meals in public faculties.
“For a number of those youngsters, it’s the most effective meal they will have, ” he said. “I understand, because i used to be one of those kids when i used to be growing up.”
For each Arwa and myself, it was a reminder of how the Olympics clearly can be a force for accurate. And the torch relay is an possibility now not best to ignite enthusiasm for the video games however additionally to understand contributions made with the aid of normal humans each day.
Eventually we have been dropped off at our positions. I used to be runner range a hundred twenty five, Arwa variety 126. I felt like a film megastar as dozens of onlookers asked for selfies — of direction, now not having any clue who i was!
Soon, the convoy of police and media seemed on the top of the hill. I used to be maneuvered into role, my fellow torch runner approached, a a hit “kiss,” and i was off!
The ones 2 hundred meters flew with the aid of, with crowds lining the direction, cameras flashing within the media van right in the front of me.
Then I saw Arwa in advance and, a bit out of breath, passed her the Olympic flame.
(Photos Courtesy: Olympic.org)