MORE than 10,000 people cheered as the Olympic Torch arrived in the centre of Sheffield - hailed as a ‘fantastic’ reception by Lord Coe, writes Graham Walker.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report, including full chat with Sheffield’s Olympic legend Lord Coe.
See The Star tomorrow for 14-pages of Olympic Torch coverage in South Yorkshire.
Gleadless teenager Carys Hall, aged 19, delivered the Olympic torch to Barkers Pool and the crowds cheered her on as she lit the cauldron.
Carys has given more than 115 hours of voluntary time to supporting Sheffield Academy of Young Leaders’ project since September 2010.
Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, himself a two time Olympic 1500m gold medal winner, also carried the torch in Sheffield and on his twitter account @sebcoe described it as “one of the best days of my life”.
He said of the event: “It’s been absolutely fantastic.
“It’s what we are seeing all over the country but let me be a bit parochial for a moment, I’m not surprised that we’ve witnessed that in South Yorkshire.
“When you think what this area has produced, in terms of Olympic talent - great coaches and folk heroes, including those who have created a place for themselves in world sport. I’m not surprised that people have come out and get this.
“I don’t think I’m the one who sparked it. I like to think I put a few more kids into sport. But I was excited by John and Sheila Sherwood, right the way back to great athletes like Ernest Harper and Joe Williams. This is a city with a rich Olympic history.”
He said of Sheffield golden girl Jess Ennis’s preparations for the Olympics: “I wouldn’t give advice to her. I know her very well and we chat often when we meet up at functions and track meets. Jess is incredibly level headed.
“The great advantage Jess has is she is living in one of the world’s best kept secrets. If you want to prepare for an Olympic games; you want to train for an Olympic games and live in level-headed communities - move to Sheffield.”