James Lavin, associate professor of health and physical education, is home from London, where he helped carry the Olympic torch to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The torch travelled around the United Kingdom prior to the Games, with torchbearers running in their home towns. Lavin lives in South Cumbria, two hours from Manchester. He met the mayor of Lancaster at the beginning of his run, and was invited to an official reception for all the local torchbearers at Lancaster Town Hall.
The weather was not the best during the torch run, but the crowds still turned out in force. Lavin had a great time. "It was a real honor. Since my run, I have visited a number of schools in my uniform with the torch to talk about the Olympics and what it means. The students have been thrilled to see and touch the torch. I've also been a guest of honor at a number of track and field events."
Torchbearers were given their own individual torch, with the Olympic flame passed on from torchbearer to torchbearer. The moment the flame is passed on is called "the kiss" because the two torches are put together. Lavin got to keep the actual torch he ran with. He plans on bringing the torch to campus, before passing it onto his children.