The Olympics always bring back a memory of the time I ran with the Olympic Torch!
Reading Danielle Smith’s post abour her time in Vancouver for the Olympics, reminded me of my small Olympic moment. In 2002 I worked with the team at the Chevrolet Olympic Torch Relay Command Center (Chevrolet and Coke were sponsors of the Relay) – and as a reward for our efforts, Chevy offered us spots in the relay. Now I didn’t work for Chevy, I worked for their PR agency, so I thought and still think that was generous of them. (There are gaps in the relay so they had to fill to make sure the torch was passed without any long delays).
But it gets better – on the long drive from Detroit to St. Louis where they had a spot for me, they called and asked if my husband, Gerry, would like to run too! They had an extra spot.
Gee let me think a minute. Of Course he’d love to!
So at the last minute they got him a suit to wear, including hat & gloves all for a six foot four guy! We were lucky enough to be in the same group, same shuttle bus.
He was #13; I was #18. So he ran before me – but with the press bus in front of the runner, you really couldn’t see the person running from the drop off shuttle that I was on. However, he ran on a curve in the road, so I did see him run! As he ran over a highway overpass, people driving to work (this was early in the morning) were flashing their lights and honking to him. Ever the actor, he paused in the middle of the bridge, went to the edge and did a “Rocky” – hands up champion style. They cars went crazy!
Can you imagine seeing THAT on your way to work???
My run was wonderful. I kept thinking how great it was to carry the torch in the relay – how many people would love to do this and will never get the opportunity! I thought how great it was that my husband could really share the experience with me. As I ran, I passed a small factory, and the workers were out cheering us; I passed an elementary school, and the kids were out cheering too! That was GREAT! And then quick as it started, it was over.
As I climbed onto the pickup shuttle, Gerry told me he did see me run! He told me that when he ran he thought – ‘no one else in the world has the Olympic Flame, only me right now!’ How cool is that?
Every Winter Olympics I think of that experience again, look at our cool torches, compare them to this year’s torch and the running costumes, and relive a really wonderful slice of our life!
If you love the Olypmpcs, please read the article by Danielle Smith on her Olympic trip. It too was a once in a lifetime opportunity. What Olympic memories do you have?