Olympic Torch Relay – 17 July, 2012

The Olympic Torches lined up on the Olympic Torch Bus

A beautiful summer morning in Brighton, somewhat of a rarity in what has been an awful British summer, allowed the Olympic Flame to burn on brightly as it continues its journey. The Royal Pavilion is the ideal place to start day 60 of the Flame’s journey, not only is the Pavilion a Brighton icon, but the mythical style building links to the mythological origins of the Olympics nicely. As well as the Cultural Olympiad funding part of the new permanent gallery ‘World Stories’, opened to signify the London 2012 Olympics, in Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

The Torchbearers briefing in the Royal Pavilion’s Music Room

The torch relay runners are up early and at the Pavilion by 6am, a briefing is carried out in the Pavilion’s Music Room, where the bearers are told by the officials how to get the best crowd reaction and how the flame will be passed between their torches with the torch ‘kiss’.  As this goes on inside the building, outside in the Royal Pavilion gardens a large crowd is forming, all wanting to get a glimpse at the Olympic flame. A diverse group of people form the crowd, from excited school children to eccentric Brightonians dressed in union jack suits with red, white and blue Mohawks. Brilliantly representing Brighton and bringing its inhabitants together at this iconic building to celebrate everything the flame represents, the London 2012 Olympics.

Zachary Narvaez with his torch on the Royal Pavilion’s Roof

The first torch bearer of the day Zachary Narvaez is more than qualified to carry the legendary flame, after he lost his Grandfather to cancer; he set up an unregistered charity to raise funds for cancer research and the Martlets Hospice. He also won Argus Achievement Award for Star Pupil last year. At 7.20 Zachary starts off the torch relay from the front of the Royal Pavilion, through the cheering crowd. Once on the road a procession of vehicles follow the flame, with music blaring out of the sponsors buses, and people on board to motivate the excited crowd. Then the Flame is passed from Zachary’s torch to Mark Hill, an accident investigator for Sussex Police. The torch bearers continue to run onwards, passing the flame from runner to runner with a torches kiss, along the London Road, continuing its journey onwards around Sussex.

Zachary setting off with the torch as the first runner of day 60

With just 10 days to go until the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics you could really feel the energy building as the torch left Brighton, adding a new story to the Royal Pavilion’s ever growing historic life.

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