Jo Jones, Director of Tourism and Marketing, Welsh Government and London 2012 Nations & Regions Member for Wales and Chair of the Wales Torch Relay Advisory Group
I have been on the road, ahead of the Torch Relay for two days now, with numerous stops for media and National and Regional Group responsibilities.
Monmouthshire did Wales proud on Friday morning! Our First Minister welcomed the Flame into Wales in glorious sunshine along with thousands of people young and old, with school children resplendent in their Olympic related headgear!
At Blaenavon’s Big Pit, the Olympic Flame was taken to the coal face in a Davy lamp as Torchbearer, Ellie Coster, held the Flame aloft on the winding gear – a very dramatic moment.
Cardiff and Swansea’s evening celebrations were excellent. LOCOG have selected venues in Wales to encourage people to get together, relax and enjoy themselves and their presenting partners (LloydsTSB, Coca Cola and Samsung) are maximising use of the Welsh language on the road – da iawn!
Travelling through the towns and villages of South Wales over the last two days, I am in awe of the thousands of people who have lined the streets, hung bunting, waved flags and held parties with beaming smiles (great to see in these difficult economic times).
I’ve witnessed recurring, joyous and inspirational scenes – not just the Olympic Torch being passed from one resident to another, their expressions of pure pride most evident, but a clear resurgence of community spirit which is equally as heart-warming as seeing the Flame passed through Wales by its people.