Leeds Chris-tens Olympic Torch in preparation for the Games
With less than a month till the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the country has been engulfed in Olympic fever. Last week, the tour of the Olympic Torch reached Leeds, a city deeply involved in the Games, from hosting the Chinese Olympic Team to producing homegrown Olympians such as Tri-athlete medal contender Alistair Brownlee.
One of the few people chosen to run with the torch was Chris Ferry, by all accounts an inspirational student; an aspiring nurse as well as a creator of Eating Stones Fund, a charity which aims to relieve the suffering of people in the slums of Kenya. This is not to mention that Ferry completed his leg of the Torch relay with torn ankle ligaments.
Ferry describes the nervous anticipation he felt in the run up to his mile. Having been given a graveyard time of 7.50 am, he was ‘overwhelmed’ by ‘the energy of the crowd in the morning, it was unbelievable and it was really great to see how much the whole event meant to people, young and old’. It seems that despite the severely under-estimated costs of the Games and a few hiccups, the tag of the impending games as ‘the most prepared, planned and executed games’ according to the Olympic governing body is justified. It is the simple moments such as Ferry’s leg of the tour, and other stories across that country that make it seem worthwhile. The doubters and cynics may not have been silenced, but vastly outnumbered.
Before Ferry knew it, the moment of the handover was upon him –‘The handover of the flame was probably the most nerve racking part as I wasn’t sure exactly where to look or stand’. He started his leg of the torch’s journey ‘in a blur’ as people cheered and walked along side him on, asking for photos with the flame. Ferry was then struck with the powerful realisation of what taking part in a once in a life time event meant – ‘I was the only person in the world carrying the Olympic Flame! That thought alone made me a little emotional’.
After months of planning, the route was devised last November, Ferry reflects about how proud he was to have represented Eating Stones as well as Leeds University, which helped to buy the Torch for the charity. ‘The torch now means so much to Eating Stones as a charity and represents the appreciation of all our hard work but also will be a constant reminder of all the fantastic support that we receive’.
To find out more and support Eating Stones go to www.eatingstones.co.uk
Author: Joe Bookbinder