TORCH BEARERS honoured with carrying the Olympic flame through Solihull gathered for a timely reunion this week - just days before the games were due to begin.
The ten torchbearers came together for the first time, at Birmingham Airport’s Holiday Inn, since taking part in the momentous occasion on Sunday, July 1.
Thousands of people had descended on the streets of Solihull to witness the flame being carried through the borough by a collection of inspirational people who have made a difference in their local community.
Post office worker Sabby Bhopal, from Solihull, carried the flame along Streetsbrook Road.
The 53-year-old revealed she almost didn’t make the big day, after she fell ill days before.
“I was so ill but for that one day I felt better. I think it was the adrenaline, I was determined to carry that torch. The day after I fell ill again. I’m so pleased I took part. It was an unforgettable experience and one that will stay with me forever.”
Sabby was nominated by her daughter, Renu, for the work she has done with the vulnerable and elderly in the local community.
She added: “I’m looking forward to the Olympics; no sport in particular, I just can’t wait to watch it all.”
Samaritans volunteer Cherry Allsop bore the torch aloft through Earlswood.
The 49-year-old said: “It’s hard to say what the most memorable part of the day was but what I do remember is the organisers telling us that the moment we carry that torch, we will be the only person in the world holding that flame. That was a pretty amazing thought.”
Cherry, from Bromsgrove, said she is looking forward to watching the athletics, after getting tickets.
The Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Ken Hawkins was also in attendance.
Addressing the torchbearers in a speech, he said: “Holding the Olympics in Britain and witnessing the torch coming through Solihull epitomises what is great about this country.”