Amitabh Bachchan carries Olympic torch in London
By PTI - LONDON
26th July 2012 08:50 PM
Amid loud cheers from hundreds of his fans, Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Thursday carried the Olympic torch at Southwark here, a day before the opening ceremony of the sporting spectacle.
The 69-year-old actor in a white track suit covered a 300-metre distance running and walking occasionally and waved at the cheering crowd, as the Olympic Games torch relay entered the 69th day on Thursday.
Ahead of his participation in the relay, Bachchan said it was a "proud moment" for him and the country to be invited to carry the Olympic flame.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and NRI businessman Laxmi Mittal were among others who were part of the relay team on Thursday.
"OK!! HERE IT IS : Have been invited by London Olympic Organizing Committee to carry the torch in the relay tomorrow ... Honored to be asked to carry the Olympic Torch in London at Southwark around 10:30 AM !! A proud moment for me and country," Bachchan had tweeted on Wednesday.
The 32.7 mile long relay of the Olympic flame on its final leg has participation of legendary personalities from all over the world and all walks of life, including Lawrence Dallaglio, Lewis Moody, Jim Anderson, Phil Packer, Darren Fitzpatrick and Tom Davis.
Bachchan is not the only celebrity to lend the Indian touch to the 2012 London Olympics.
Indian music maestro A R Rahman teamed up with his 'Slumdog Millionaire' director Danny Boyle to compose a track for the inaugural event.
"It's a track in Punjabi celebrating the Indian influence in the UK. It's a part of a medley in the Olympics opening ceremony, according to Danny Boyle's creative wishes!," Rahman had written on his Facebook page.
Indian music composer Ilaiyaraaja's song is also set to feature in the medley of music tracks to be used in the inaugural programme.
After the relay, Bachchan said it was a proud moment for him to have played a small part in an event such as the Olympics.
"It was a privilege to run with the torch, which symbolises everything the Olympics stand for. It was an unbelievable moment which I would cherish all my life," Bachchan told TV channels.
The veteran actor said it was a tough task at his age, but he was glad to see so many people cheering him on.
"I was asked to run 300 metres. I was overwhelmed to see so many people in a foreign land cheering me on. It showed the spirit of the Olympics of bringing different communities together," he said.
"I had never imagined I would run with the torch. The dignity and respect Olympics has given me is beyond imagination. I am so proud. I'm going to leave something for my grandchildren," he added.
Bachchan also sent out a message for the Indian contingent at the Olympics this time, wishing them all the very best.
"I hope we do better this time. I am looking out for the ladies in particular," he said.
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