Tuesday, 12 June 2012

My sister, the Olympic torch runner.

Well she did it!

On the 24th May my big sister Jo Smith ran through the centre of Hereford proudly holding the Olympic torch above her head and beaming from ear to ear.

Of course we were all there to excitedly cheer her on. I set off early and did the rounds picking people up for the journey. We were so excited, with butterflies whizzing around in out tummies and laughter in our voices as we tried to predict how the day would pan out.

Jo, her husband Colin and daughter Immy were all together at the college where Jo was to be briefed 
and then put on a shuttle bus which would take her to her starting point. As Jo was whisked away the others made their way into town where we all met up to have tea and cakes (and a bit of flag waving).

Outside the city centre was being prepared for the runners to pass through.

TV camera men were setting up on every corner waiting for the action to begin.

Flag sellers were out in force doing a roaring trade.

We picked our spot and unfurled our banner for all to see. If I thought I could have got away with a mega-phone as well then I would have brought one of those too! 

Jo and Colin's friends turned up with their 'GO JO GO' t-shirts to add support.

The crowds were starting to gather and the blow up Olympic torches were being inflated... 

We found time for a Jaffa cake moment to keep our sugar levels up.

Groups of school children were starting to arrive to wave the runners on and cheer at the top of their voices. 

As the torch got closer and closer to Hereford so did the travelling show that accompanies it. We were treated to street entertainers a plenty.

And then the moment came. The atmosphere was brilliant, there was a real buzz in the air and a huge sense of anticipation. I felt really tearful with pride and excitement. 

Jo was dropped off at her starting point with her torch and her running number.

Everyone wanted to talk to her and photograph her...she was a star for a day! 

Jo and Colin were interviewed for the TV.

And after a final run through of how the hand over would go...

She was fired up....

and off she went on her moment of history making.

Here's a link to a video of  Jo's section of the relay, it's not too clear as someone has recorded it from a TV screen and put it onto Youtube. Jo was blowing kisses to her friend who was watching the coverage live on the Internet.

Pictures from here

After Jo had passed the flame on she was taken back to the college where we all met up for photographs and a drip of Champagne.

Of course we all had to have a go at holding the torch. A lot of the college students came over and had their photos taken with it too which was lovely as we all got chatting and having a bit of a laugh.

Very proud parents!

The day after the relay this photo by Stuart Dixon popped up on Facebook. The flame looks like a runner! Stuart sent it to the newspapers and it appeared in The Sun and on the Daily Mail's website, which cracked us all up.

All in all it was a fantastic day and one that I'll remember for ever. Jo did us all proud and does a brilliant job, along with all the other volunteers, for her charity. Congratulations and thank you to all the Olympic torch relay runners, you do a fantastic job!    


  1. How fabulous! You'll talk about that day for the rest of your lives ... and your children will tell their children ... history in the making! xxx

  2. What a lovely post ... so nice to actually feel you know a little bit about one of the torch bearers. So glad you had a great day. M x

  3. Well done Liz , some lovely pictures . I'm sure your very proud of your Big Sis and a lovely family moment for you all to remember with great fondness .

  4. Wow - well done Jo! And what a great band of supporters you made - helped by the scones and jaffa cakes;) A very happy day for you all!

    I would have been very nervous knowing that whopping big coach was right behind me the whole way... how long was the section that Jo covered? xx

  5. So awesome! Cheery wave from the USA! Bev

  6. That is so lovely. She really looked so proud. I am glad it went well, and the trousers look fine!! xx

  7. Bless her she looked so proud and so she should be ;-)) Wonderful photo's and memories. dee xx

  8. Hi Lizzie this is a brill post looks like you all had a fab day :) Olive is really well, her teeth are coming through at the moment so a bit dribbly but otherwise perfect!! x x x

  9. what a great day you all had, that flame picture is amazing isn't it! Heather