London , UK July 26, 2012 Thu 8:45 PM GmT
A sip of aerated water, a warm piece of the biscuit that contains the hyper ingredient, a quiet room, disturbing hiccups jerking my system after each drop of the sip and a barrage of emoticons bouncing in unison in this the most sensitive portion of my body – the brain !
Among the millions that wait in anticipation for the start of the London Olympics 2012, I find myself in great eagerness and resolve. Eager to spend hours of restful time in front of replay and slow motion imagery of sporting achievements, with a resolve that nothing but nothing shall take me away from it ! I also find myself in invitation to participate in the Olympic Torch Relay in the city of London, to bear the honor of holding the symbol of what this event stands for.
Sebastian Coe, or more correctly Lord Sebastian Coe, that heads the Olympic Organizin committee sends me a formal letter and I readily agree. Sebastian Coe has been, quite the champion in his own right in the 800 meters track event and I have been a great admirer of his athleticism. I did have the opportunity to see him tilt the scales against his arch rival Steve Ovett in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 at the Collesium, and what a moment that was. So this great sports celebrity invites me, I come to London and have just returned from a most memorable experience of my lifetime – carrying the Torch and running with it for some distance. The torch has been meticulously designed in a metal that can take the pressure of a live flame, its grill like appearance that has 8000 circular designs on it, is the 8000 miles that the torch shall travel in Great Britain and … the 8000 bearers of the torch that shall run with it to its final destination inside the Stadium built for the occasion of the 2012 Olympics.
This has been a singular honor, a moment of great pride not just for me, but the entire nation and I am truly humbled. In many ways it has reflected the spirit of the Olympics, that of creating a platform where talent from across the world comes together in a spirit of togetherness and camaraderie, to share harmony and peace, leaving behind all those elements that divide us and tear us apart !
What began as an event to exhibit a superiority of physical strength, speed and greater height, gradually has converted itself into a more moralistic stance – that of friendship, honor, peace, fair play. This is now no longer just a four yearly exercise in events that measure physical capability, but one that has become a movement which symbolically portrays the more finer elements of society and their rightful existence.
When different communities come together in a spirit of sportsmanship, they bring with them not just their ability as athletes, but bring with them a desire to compete in an atmosphere filled with value. This is most appreciated. And this is what I have liked the most.
Thank you Olympic Organizing Committee for your generous invitation. Thank you Lord Sebastian Coe. And most of all thank you City of London for your warm and generous welcome this morning. A day that shall remain etched for life.
My thanks go out to members of the Ef that have turned out in support, giving moral courage to an otherwise butterflies in the stomach situation ! And of course my endless gratitude to all the millions that have seen and felt the pride that we all have for our Country. Your words of encouragement and the patriotic flavor that it emanated has and will be always special for me. Thank you !!
My love and admiration always …