Olympic Torch Run in Northern Ireland - Xtra Special Day

On Monday 4th June 2012 we were delighted to return to our hometown of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, to see our nephew Lee Kitson carry the Olympic Torch through part of the Waterside area. 

Lee is a good fencer, coach and referee, although where he gets this from is beyond all of us as none of the immediate family are very sporty but Lee has a good talent when it comes to fencing. He also started a Fencing Club in Jordanstown, Belfast in 2011. 

Lee with his mum & dad

Well I was armed with the video camera and Fred (my husband) was armed with one of his cameras, while Lee's mum and dad and brother and sister and brother-in-law also had cameras and video cameras.  As soon as Lee was left off at his starting position with his torch in his hand he became a celebrity.  

Later I asked Fred why he had taken quite a few photos of strangers with Lee only to be told that he didn't know if Lee knew them or not because Lee just stood and smiled and let everyone pose with him.  

Friends got pictures taken, children got pictures, grown-ups got pictures and teenage girls got pictures (that bit we could understand completely as Lee is a good looking 20 year old) and even the family managed to push in and get pictures taken with him.

Lighting the Torch

Then it was his time to run and we all got very excited seeing his torch being lit and taking over in the relay from a young girl.  Getting pictures and video was relatively easy when he was standing still but much harder when he took off on the run. Now we had warned him to run slowly so we could have more time to enjoy but Lee is about 6 foot 4 ins tall with long legs and running slowly for him is fast for someone like me (being quite petite in height).  

Me keeping up with Lee but not for long

Fred (who is 6 foot tall & a bit fit) ran along one side of the road stopping and turning to snap shots of Lee and I gallantly ran off on the other side trying to keep up with lee or even get in front of him to try to take more video.  

That was a laugh for everyone as I was out of puff in no time at all, even calling out to him to run slowly just got a laugh from him in return (plus laughs from the security guys running alongside him).

Needless to say Fred got some nice shots as he could easily keep up with Lee but I just have shaky, blurry video for that part.

Front Page of the Local Paper

Lee gets to keep his torch so he will have a great momento of that "Moment to Shine" as well as all the photos the family and other friends have taken.  He even got his picture on the front page of the local paper (the Sentinel) with a little write up inside and then also discovered he was on You Tube as part of the video of the Torch Run in Londonderry.
The next day he was on the go again and raised money for a local charity by allowing more pictures to be taken of him and the torch.

Lee with Fred & I

The City of Londonderry was also in the news because some people tried to disrupt the Torch Relay but I am grateful that those who ran and completed the relay around the city where not thinking of anything political but instead they were proud to represent their country (no matter what their religion) in this once in a lifetime opportunity. 

         The smiles on the faces of all the runners proved that.

Here are some other  Xtra Special Days

And some Other Posts about Northern Ireland or Travel


  1. What a great experience! It is great that a community can pull together and have a common goal. Great that he is still raising money with the torch! :)

    1. thanks Deanna, we are proud of the way he has helped others and not looked to gain for himself

  2. Lovely story and wonderful to have been part of history like that. Commenting from BlogFormatting.

    1. Hi Phoebe, thanks for dropping in. A one off event for us never to be forgotten.

  3. What a fantastic experience to be a part of! Thank you for sharing this with us!

    1. I'm always thankful for the wonderful experiences we can have in life

  4. How wonderful. Congrats to your nephew for the incredible honor of carrying the Olympic Torch! Thanks for sharing such good and inspiring news with our #smallvictoriessunday linky last week. Sorry I am late sharing and pinning. I hope you join us again this week, the linky is now open!

  5. What a wonderful tribute to your nephew! What an honor to be part of the Olympic history and carry that torch! Several years ago a dear friend of mine had that honor at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah! Our youngest son is a runner and in the first year of college he made a great Irish friend who still keeps in touch with us. He has tried out for the Olympics and it is always heartbreaking but he is a solid runner so I know he will succeed. Your nephew chose an interesting sport in fencing. He must have excellent coordination! I admire anyone who has the courage to break the family tradition and try something new. Excellent post! COngrats to you and yours!