London 2012: Flame touches down in Dublin – and on Planet Jedward
Sonia O'Sullivan and pop duo Jedward among an eclectic mix of torchbearers as the Olympic flame makes historic visit to Dublin
Sonia O’Sullivan, hurling’s equivalent of Wayne Rooney and pop duo Jedward were among an eclectic mix of torchbearers as the Olympic flame made an historic visit to Dublin.
London 2012 organisers had to get special dispensation from the International Olympic Committee to take the relay across the border, after international stops were banned following protests that marred the build-up to the Beijing Games.
The flame was passed during a symbolic border crossing between Olympic boxers Wayne McCullough and Michael Carruth, watched by local schoolchildren.
Henry Sheflin, widely regarded as one of the greatest hurlers of all-time, later carried the torch at Croke Park, the 83,000 capacity home of the Gaelic Athletic Association.
Special Olympics volunteer Alva Nolan took the flame to visit the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kerry while other torchbearers in Dublin included Michael Carruth, a gold medallist boxer at the 1992 Olympics and international rugby players Shane Horgan and Denis Hickie.
John and Edward Grimes, who finished sixth in X-Factor, eighth and 19th in Eurovision but claimed bronze in Celebrity Big Brother, also ran while O’Sullivan, the Irish team’s chef de mission for London 2012, lit a special cauldron at St Stephen’s Green, Dublin.
“This is a historic moment for us in Olympic sport,” said Patrick Hickey, president of the Olympic Council of Ireland.
“The Olympic flame coming south to Dublin shows the importance of sport in building bridges for peace and a recognition of the all-island composition of Team Ireland as it goes for gold at the London Olympic Games.”
© Sportsbeat 2012