Ramsamy carries Olympic torch
London - A proud Sam Ramsamy strode through the streets of Barnet, north London on Wednesday as part of the Olympic Torch Relay.
Wearing No79 on his chest, South Africa’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board member was the second of 17 torchbearers on this particular section of the prestigious torch relay and ended his section just before 17:00 SA time.
“I’m over the moon,” beamed 74-year-old Ramsamy, clad in a gleaming white and gold 2012 Olympics tracksuit.
“It was an absolutely invigorating experience. The crowds were amazing – they ‘owned’ me for my section even though it was only about 400 metres.”
And Ramsamy said he had a powerfully positive feeling about these 2012 Olympics. “These people really want to host the Games, they have gone out of the way to get involved and there is so much more spirit here at this stage than there was at the Beijing Olympics.”
This is not the first occasion that Ramsamy has had the honour of being a torchbearer having done so previously in Beijing and Vancouver.
“I also had two more opportunities in 1996 and 2004 but gave it up in favour of someone else. I was actually supposed to carry the torch in the East End but unfortunately we had a Board meeting so I couldn’t do that.”
Explaining what happens to the torches he said: “This torch will now be de-commissioned and will be kept at the National Olympic Committee headquarters. We actually get two torches and I can decide what to do with the other torch.
“I was understandably a little nervous when I woke up this morning but the feeling of pride carrying the torch for South Africa was just the most amazing feeling.”