Chiswick Torch Bearer Gets His Turn
Hundreds cheer as Ben Cooper takes Olympic flame on stage
Chiswick torch-bearer Ben Cooper said today that the enthusiasm of the crowd and the goodwill and atmosphere around the Torch Relay have given him and his family some amazing memories.
The father-of-two was the final torch-bearer to carry the flame during its visit to Hounslow Borough (July 24) and was honoured to be chosen to carry the torch on stage in Lampton Park, where he was greeted by the Mayor of Hounslow and local MP Mary Macleod as well as other dignatories.
Ben Cooper (on left) with Olympic Torch
To the cheers of the thousands of people gathered in the bright sunshine, Ben shook hands with the Mayor, Cllr Pritam Grewel, having carried the torch from just inside the entrance to the Park, along the path and across the grass through the crowds and onto the stage.
Earlier the torch had crossed from Richmond, along Kew Bridge and into Brentford High Street, before being carried towards Hounslow.
A final check on the flame
Ben’s day started at 10am when he gathered with the final ten Hounslow Borough torch-bearers at West Thames College in Isleworth and they donned their distinctive white uniforms. The minibus then drove ahead of the torch relay and dropped the runners into position, where officials were waiting to supervise the handover of the Olympic Flame.
As Ben took up his position 200 yards inside the gate of the Park, Indian drummers heralded the arrival of the torch at around 12.30.
On stage with the Mayor of Hounslow, Cllr Pritam Grewel
“The organisation throughout was impeccable. People have expressed doubts about the ability of Britain to organise these Olympics but from what I experienced, the behind-the-scenes work was amazing”, he commented.
Watching Ben were his wife Debbie, and daughter Charlotte, who graduated from Southampton University yesterday (Monday, July 23). The couple’s son Oliver is currently competing in Germany in a World Championship Sailing Event. The family flew back from Germany Sunday night to prepare for the busy few days of Charlotte’s graduation, and Ben’s torch relay event.
“We’re going to have a nice quiet evening after all the activity” said Ben.
On stage with local dignatories including the Mayor and Mary Macleod MP
Unlike some of the torch-bearers who complained they had to pay to keep a copy of the torch, Ben has been given a present of his by sponsors Coca Cola who bought 1,500 copies for torch-bearers.
Ben Cooper was chosen to carry the torch because of his commitment to encouraging youth sailing in the UK. The family are now looking forward to following the Olympic sailing events in Weymouth.
Mary Macleod commented:
"It was great to see people from all sections of our community coming together to celebrate the Olympics coming back to London. Everyone is excited about seeing the world’s best athletes coming to London, and I know the people of Hounslow will be cheering on Team GB, and especially our local hero Mo Farah."
July 26, 2012