Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Olympic Torch comes to Aberdeen

Since the 2012 Summer Olympics are being held in London, the Olympic torch has been making a tour around the United Kingdom. We were there to greet the torch as it’s made its way into the Aberdeen city center last night, and Bailey and I saw it again this morning as it passed a block from our house. A block from our house! How cool is that?
Last night was a very festive time in Aberdeen and the crowds were out in full force. Our friend Kristin was gracious enough to invite everyone over to her flat which was a block from the route downtown. After feasting on fajitas and other Tex-Mex goodies, we headed to the route to catch a glimpse. The procession was a bit anticlimactic since before the torch was scheduled to arrive, there were several buses blaring music that we thought were leading in the torch bearer.
However, after the buses passed, we were left in silence for about 10 minutes, until all of a sudden a few cop motorcycles came by, a tall person commented that they could see the torch, and boom, it was right in front of me.
Unfortunately, this short girl couldn’t see over the crowds of people, but Jillian got a great picture that she shared with me. 
I figured this morning would afford a clearer view of the actual torch, so I grabbed Bailey and headed out to wait for the procession as it passed right by our house.
Even Bailey could feel the excitement in the atmosphere, but after a few anti-climactic fake-outs, she decided to take a nap.
Of course, I knew the musical buses signified another 10 minute wait, so I wasn’t fooled this time around.
The interim time was very atmospheric though since a bagpiper was playing from a balcony in the apartments behind us, and the crowds were singing along to what I assumed to be the national anthem. For a moment, I got really homesick and longed to hear the words “and the land of the free and the home of the brave”.
After about 30 minutes of standing in the cold-windy-rain (would Aberdeen have it any other way?), we caught a great glimpse of the legendry flame. I still didn’t get a picture quite as good as Jillian’s last night, but it was much improved over what I could snap in the city center crowds yesterday.
Altogether, it was a memorable and surreal experience; one that I feel honored and blessed to have participated in. The Olympics have a special significance to our family since my cousin Katherine is an Olympic medalist.
She earned a silver and bronze medal for short track speed skating during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, and the sacrifices that she’s made to reach that elite status is nothing short of inspiring. Thinking of her training regimen has gotten me through many P90x sessions. Realizing that my hard workouts are her ‘light’ days is truly humbling. 
Because of her, anytime I think about Olympic athletes, I’m left with a chill on my flesh and a tear in my eye. Sorry to be so sentimental, but it’s the stinkin’ Olympic torch, people. The Olympic torch! A block from my house! Life is so amazing sometimes.


  1. And you have left a chill on my flesh and a tear in my eye - thanks for sharing the experience of the Olympic Torch passing through Aberdeen! Aunt Beth - Olympic Mom :-)

  2. Great post, Laine! Life is pretty amazing!

  3. That is just too cool! What an experience!!

  4. So jealous and so cool you got to see that! Barrett is going to the Olympic trials so there could be another Olympian in our mist. Been tryin to reach Simone to check on him...love you!!!