My dad recently flew over to Athens for a week on some Business and whisked my mom away with him after flying over to Paris the day before (jealous, much?). While in Athens, they managed to attend the Olympic Flame Handover which was taking place to hand the flame over from Greece to the UK at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896.
Princess Anne, David Beckham, Boris Johnson (London Mayor), and Lord Coe (Chairman of the London Olympics organising committee) were part of the UK Delegation taking the torch back to the UK.
After the first torch-bearer came into the stadium carrying with the torch and an olive branch from the oldest olive tree on Crete, she then passed the torch to another bearer and a relay was carried out. The last torch-bearer then ran down to the priestesses who lit the cauldron.
The head of the Greek Olympic Committee made a speech followed by Lord Coe, who my dad thought was going for the Olympic Gold Medal in Speech Length he talked that much.
Princess Anne then walked towards the Olympic Caldron and was passed the Olympic torch by the priestess then walked back towards the UK Delegation. The flame was then transferred into a lantern for the journey back to the UK. The UK Delegation then left the Stadium with Princess Anne carrying the lantern, followed by Boris, Beckham and Coe.
After all the dignitaries left the stadium, the spectators began leaving also. Once outside, people were taking balloons which were around the stadium and releasing them into the air. The Greek Guards then paraded out of the stadium, doing their well-known march followed by the marching band.
Needless to say, because of the rain, my parents were soaking but they enjoyed the event and took lots of photos. Sadly, my mom hasn’t mastered the art of focus yet…. she’ll get there! I wish I saw the handover event myself, I think it’s something that everyone should get the chance to see! Maybe next year 😉