Live in London: Day 8—Tors and the Olympic Relay Torch
blog by Victoria Mintz • August 04, 2012 @ 10:49pm
After a great week with family in Brighton, my sisters and I packed our bags and headed to Camberley where we will be staying for the rest of the week with the family of two British Olympic synchronized swimmers, Jenna and Asha Randall who are competing in the London Games.
I met Jenna back in 2005, when both her and duet partner, Olivia Federici came to live with my family for three months while training at our club in Ontario with our Olympic coach. Over the years we have remained extremely close, visiting the Randall’s back in 2007 and keeping in touch via social media.
Therefore, when the Randall’s found out we were making a trip to England for the Olympics they immediately asked us to stay with their family and celebrate the success of both their daughters who made the Great Britain Olympic synchro team for the 2012 Games.
Arriving at 7 a.m. this morning, my sisters and I were graciously welcomed with open arms into the Randall household where we spent the rest of the day napping, relaxing, catching up and enjoying a fabulous BBQ thrown for family and friends of the synchro girls.
The most amazing aspects of today—besides from actually staying in the rooms of the Olympic girls themselves—were being able to skype Jenna Randall in the Olympic athletes village in Stratford Park and holding one of the official Olympic relay torches given to Jenna after she carried it during the Olympic torch relay.
First of all the torch was unbelievable. It actually weighed less than I expected, but was beautifully crafted and definitely a sight to see. My sisters and I had a lot of fun posing with the torch, which you can clearly see in all the pictures below. It was such an incredible experience because it’s not everyday that you are able to hold an Olympic torch. Again another unforgettable moment—so surreal.
Lastly, I was able to skype Jenna in the Olympic village once she had finished practice and was relaxing in her room. We hadn’t talked face to face in a while so it was amazing to finally see her again, catch up and get a tour of the village. Every country is given a different apartment within the park, all very close to one another, which we were able to see when she showed us the view of their quad from her balcony.
Each apartment is shared by four people, comprising of two rooms, a bathroom and a lounge. The rooms are identical to a college dorm, shared by two people with two single beds and closets. It’s nothing over the top, very clean and simple but of course super cool because it’s for the Olympics. After the London Games, the apartments will be used as University dormitories for the schools near by.
Jenna briefly explained the athlete village, which includes an enormous food court (with every type of food/dessert you can think of), 24-hour treatment center (offering endless massages, physiotherapy, acupuncture and more) as well as an athlete hang out lounge called ‘The Globe” where everyone goes to release steam, bond with other countries and kick back and relax.
Overall she said the village is great besides the fact that you have to walk everywhere, which takes longer than they all expected haha I can imagine after incessantly hard days of training that would definitely get to you.
It was so much fun getting a sneak peek of the village, especially since they weren’t officially allowed to contact us. (Jenna and the synchro swimmers were not allowed to contact any family or friends prior to competing in order to keep them focused and ‘in the game’—their phones were taken away as a result)
Therefore, I am extremely grateful for the chance and appreciate her taking the time to show my sisters and I.
I’ve got a big day ahead of me as I head to the Olympic Park to watch the first synchro event of the 2012 London Games. The duet technical event will take place at the Aquatic center at 3 p.m., where both Jenna and her duet partner Olivia will be taking part. Keep posted for more stories. Cheers!
Fun Fact: Every Olympic Relay Torch made and used during the London Olympic Games can be sold on Ebay for over 20,000 pounds which is equivalent to 32,000 dollars!