London 2012 - one year on: Our moment to shine as the Olympic flame came through
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012
It's a year since the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Kate Scotter takes a look back at the torch relay which spent two memorable days in the region
Historic towns, picturesque villages and famous landmarks across Norfolk and north Suffolk were put at the forefront of London 2012 celebrations when the Olympic flame snaked its way across the region.
There was a real sense that the Olympic Games had arrived as the historic flame was passed from one inspirational person to another across the two counties.
It entered Norfolk on July 4 at King's Lynn shortly after midday, followed a route to South Wootton, West and East Rudham, Fakenham, Holt, Cromer and Aylsham before it arrived in Norwich for an overnight celebration in Chapelfield Gardens.
The flame paid a special visit to Hethersett early the next morning before it left Norwich Castle in a blaze of colour as abseilers descended from the top of the historic landmark. It was carried over the river in a rowing boat, guided by a flotilla of canoes, before it then left the city and headed to Southwold via Acle, Filby, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
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Crowds lined the route to see a glimpse of the golden torches and to cheer on the torchbearers – each and everyone of whom had their own special story to tell: from King's Lynn's Rachel Forrest, who carried the torch through Sandringham and was nominated as the first and only female in the Eastern Counties leagues for rugby, to Coltishall's Tonya Knights, who battled a life-threatening disease as a teenager and cancer as an adult before setting up her own charity to help others.
Special activities took place along the route and there was a jam-packed programme of events in Norwich as the flame made an overnight stop, including an Olympic stage show, street acts and a spectacular 3D building projection.
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Hethersett was also given its own special moment to shine. The village's Olympic committee had campaigned hard for the flame to visit Hethersett and even though it was missed off the main route, it made a special visit early morning and was welcomed by scores of people who had woken up at the crack of dawn for the occasion.