Thousands of people grabbed a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Olympic Torch pass through north east Fife last week.
The torch procession reached Newburgh on Tuesday afternoon, where around 600 people had gathered to watch the spectacle.
Preceded by a motorcade – which included many Metropolitan Police officers and Fife Police on motorcycles – it then made its way to Cupar, to a massive cheer from supporters who lined the main thoroughfare.
The town was a carnival of activity with people, many waving flags, straining from windows to try to get a better view. Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola handed out free products, as well as blasting music from a customised van.
And it was Cupar where Windygates teen Sula Powell (15), who was nominated by her mum (see below), got her moment to shine.
She was first up to run with the famous flame, followed by Lee Goodfellow (Earlston), Andrew Hall (St Andrews), Gregor Mackenzie (Dundee), and Ken Rose (Dunfermline).
Following its visit to Cupar, the torch then made its way to Guardbridge, where crowds had also gathered. There, James Dickinson, Dawn Doherty and Fiona Dutton, all St Andrews, carried the torch and were joined by Dundee residents Morna Crombie and Elliot George, plus Amber Shearer from Perth and Euan Robertson of Blairgowrie
The last stop of the day was in Leuchars and there it was carried by Sula’s fellow local teen Ricky Williamson (17), from Leven (see below). He was joined by Balmullo woman Sandra Kennedy and Sheila Fissell of Coaltown of Balgonie.
The torch then went on to Dundee before beginning the 26th day of its tour, on Wednesday, in St Andrews.
The 7am start meant the university town’s residents were forced up early in order to catch a glimpse of it. They also had to be quick to follow it, as the iconic ‘Chariots of Fire’ film scene on West Sands Beach was recreated.
The torch then made its way out of north east Fife and headed towards a ceremony at Edinburgh Castle on Wednesday evening,
SEVENTEEN-year-old Ricky Williamson, from Leven, told the Mail he found the honour of carrying the torch through Leuchars “humbling”.
He added: “It was really good to experience the day.
“As soon as I got on the bus with the other torchbearers, to go to the starting point, everyone was really excited. Then, as soon as we got off, everybody gave a big cheer as well.
“I wasn’t really nervous. It was good with it being busy, as it brought up the atmosphere.
“It was a really good and humbling experience.”
Ricky, who thanked MGT for sponsoring a minibus for his friends and family to go and watch, had to buy his torch after the relay and says he has no plans to sell it, like some others have.
He added: “I was thinking about it before I did it, but now I want to keep it as a memento and be able to show it to my grandchildren in the future.
“I feel really honoured as there were only 8000 people in the whole of the UK selected.
“To be one of them and one of only two people in the local area is really good and I appreciate everyone for nominating me.”
WINDYGATES teenager Sula Powell said she will remember her Torch Relay experience for the rest of her life.
Sula (15) was the first torchbearer of the Cupar leg and was given the honour in recognition of her hard work raising funds for, and the profiles of, a number of charities.
She said: “It was amazing. I still can’t believe I’ve actually done it, even looking at the pictures it doesn’t seem real. It is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
“It’s a once in a lifetime thing. I don’t even think the flame has ever been in Scotland, so to be one of the people actually chosen to carry it is a big achievement in itself.
“I’m quite a quiet person; I don’t like to brag about what I have done but at least this way it gives me some sort of recognition and I hope the awareness of the charities has risen.”
Sula also expressed her gratitude to everyone who had helped her to reach her goals.
She continued: “I was so lucky to have so much support.
“I would like to thank my mum, my dad, my brother and my gran and granddad, as they always encourage me and support me to do my best and achieve my dream.”
Sula added that, since the relay, she had been trying to give as many people as possible the chance to see her torch and has taken it to show pupils at a number of local schools and fellow volunteers at the Open Doors charity, with whom she helps feed homeless people.