Athens Torch Relay

Posted on October 16, 2014 ยท Posted in Events

In 2004, the potential Olympic bid was still being conceived but everyone saw the arrival of the Athens 2004 Games Torch for one day in London as an opportunity to signal to the world that London could do it; that we could stage a spectacular Games.

So, led by BBC Live Events, the BBC, GLA, the British Olympic Association and the Royal Parks created a unique event in the middle of The Mall with audiences on both sides of a triangular stage watching James Brown, Rod Stewart, Will Young and McFly whilst waiting for Sir Steve Redgrave to run down The Mall up the steps ‘on water’ through a stream carrying the torch to light the cauldron in front of the Princess Royal.

The build logistics were tight and the timings of the event were even tighter as the flame was delayed throughout Central London and there was a major Euro 2004 football match to follow so the Torch could not be late. With a magnificent dash on his bike through Hyde Park, Chris Boardman got the Torch to the River Thames and eventually into The Mall in time for the Red Arrows to soar overhead right to the split second as the cauldron burst into life.