Friday saw the Olympic Torch Relay arrive on the Wirral. I was in two minds about seeing it. On the one hand it is simply a guy holding a flaming bit of metal. Having been bombarded by adverts with athletes holding Subway sandwiches, showing off makeup products, and generally seeing every brand known to man try and cash in I’ve become a little tired of it all. But on the other hand the Olympic Torch Relay is potentially hugely symbolic and inspirational.
For the most part torch bearers are local heroes, people who inspire us to be better than we are. They walk with a flame lit in Athens that symbolises an event that is all about striving to do better in life. People pushing themselves to break limits, records and simply be the best they can. (Not sponsored by the Army). Pictured below is Brian Powell, registered blind. He carried the torch with his daughter. Do read his story. People lined the streets to see these local heroes carry a torch of inspiration. Hundreds met the torch at Woodside Ferry Terminal and over 20,000 were there to greet it in Liverpool. 20,000 were there in Chester too at ‘The Moment When’ event I photographed earlier in the week.
If you can look past the commercialisation of it all there’s some inspiration hidden behind it. Children’s faces light up. The torch bearer’s stories are very moving. Just like the giants people will be able to tell their children about the day they saw this. I really hope that people are inspired by the games being in the UK.