It was a moment for us to say: ‘We were there’

Portsmouth delivers yet again with the GSR

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After months of anticipation and preparation, this was the moment all those who’d been chosen as torchbearers had been waiting for.

Picked because of their good deeds, charitable work, personal courage or community work, these lucky few were taking part in a moment of history that they will never forget.

We’re sure that for them and their families there was an overwhelming sense of pride – but in actual fact, this was an occasion for all of us to feel proud.

As the countdown to the Olympic Games continues, this was our chance to see the iconic flame paraded through our streets.

Soon we will be racing head-long into the excitement of this unique sporting tournament as the competition gets going and the starting pistol is finally fired.

But for now, the Games are giving us a chance to celebrate something else that we hold dear – our communities and all that they mean to us.

Our hearts go out to those who truly deserved the opportunity to hold that torch aloft.

And we should also congratulate all those who made the effort to go out and cheer the torchbearers along the route.

Occasions like this don’t come around very often but all those who turned out for this spectacular event will be able to say: ‘We were there.’

It was great to see so many people lining the streets, waving flags and cheering every single torchbearer on their way.

Not a spare scrap of pavement was in sight, such was the interest in seeing the flame pass by.

Many more packed into Southsea Common to await the arrival of the torch in style with a lively celebration of music, camaraderie and fun.

Today the torch will continue on its way through Portsmouth, giving thousands more the chance to see it at close quarters. Every one of our torchbearers can look back on what’s just happened and smile, knowing it truly was their moment to shine.

This was also a weekend for the whole community to step into the spotlight – and just look how you shined.