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June 1: Part 1

route map2

6.1.2008

We headed out at 7:15am with the hopes of seeing the Olympic Torch Relay. Apparently, we were 3 hours and 15 minutes behind schedule. We learned that many people got up at 4am and walked to their selected viewing spot. Despite our tardiness, we were able to get a taxi within 3 minutes of waiting.

We offered to share the taxi with another family. The taxi driver approved and let 4 adults and 2 kids sit in the back. Olympic Spirit was in the air.

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Once downtown, taxi drivers and motorcycle taxis were adding flags to their vehicles.

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This years Olympic theme is “One World, One Dream.”

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Despite the crowds, the downtown area was very well organized and safe.

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At this point, Hubs went in for the best photographic opportunity while I searched for higher ground. Can you find Hubs in this photo? He’s the tallest guy in the center.

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Go China!

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Getting the best view.

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The crowds anxiously await the torch.

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First came the Coca-Cola truck shouting from a bullhorn: ?????????????????????Go China! Go Beijing! Go Olympics! Go Yichang! The crowd went wild.

The next two trucks were Samsung and Lenovo – all official Olympic Sponsors. But just as the torchbearer was about to come by…our battery went dead. Thankfully, Hubs swapped in the new one and started shooting.

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After the sponsors, a bus comes by and dropped off the torch bearers. There’s our torch bearer. He’s waiting for the flame!

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He was so hyped and got the crowd going.

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The flame is passed from one runner to the next. Hmmm…what is this mysterious truck in front of them?

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Our torch bearer is off. I, Sandra, cried when I saw the flame. It has such significance. What an awesome time to be here!

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He could hardly run because he kept looking at the flame.

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Oh, now I see – the mysterious truck is the TV cameraman.

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And that was all for his leg. In this photo, the flame is being passed onto the next runner.

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The next runner is off and our guy waits for the torch bearer van.

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Our shirts say, “Go China.” Schäfer’s wearing his “Made in China” t-shirt that we found in Guangzhou.

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After the torch passed, we walked down to the area where the torch race finished, but there was nothing to be seen except crowds.

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What a brave Papa!

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The vendors were so friendly and quickly on their way to Jingzhou – the next torch relay destination.

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Then, we walked to a local hotel where all the torch bearers were gathered. They each got to keep their torch! For more details on the torch history and design click here.

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This torch bearer wanted a photo of the foreign baby.

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Schäfer sleeps through the action while Justin meets a VIP.

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Each bearer was glowing with joy.

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And then there were crowds…

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