Thursday, January 14, 2010
The Flame! The Flame!
I have never in my life seen as many police vehicles in one spot as I did last night at the Olympic Torch Relay Run in Edmonton. The Torchbearer was preceded by at least 25 police vehicles, all with their blue-and-red lights flashing -- marked police cars, unmarked police cars, police trucks, police vans, a police helicopter in the air and two police officers riding bicycles. Dotted in among all the police vehicles were a few 2010 Olympic vehicles, the shuttle buses carrying the other Torchbearers, a tow-truck (in case anyone had ignored the "No Parking" signs that were all along the route), a City of Edmonton van and various advertising vehicles from official Olympic sponsors like the Royal Bank and Coca-Cola.
And finally, after all that hoopla -- the Torchbearer! The flame was gorgeous against the falling darkness as the Torchbearer ran by. There were lots of people on the street and everyone cheered and waved flags. My Rare One and I did too, all decked out in our red Olympic mittens and Olympic scarves (more on that, tomorrow). The whole thing was marvelous, of course.
What surprised me was that the Torchbearer was accompanied by eight security personnel who ran along with him, four on each side. They were in dark track suits with reflective Olympic rings on the back. Once I thought about it some more, though, it made sense as a precautionary measure. Sadly, the world is not what it once was.