By: Dr. Badr Alshibani, an EO Saudi Arabia member, and Special to Overdrive
When the selection for official 2012 Summer Olympic torchbearers was announced on 18 May 2011, people from all over the world dreamed of being included among 8,000 individuals who would be nominated by the event’s presenting partners. The nominees underwent a tough selection process. I was one of the lucky picks to relay the historic Olympic torch.
Being a torchbearer has been considered an honor since it was first introduced in 1936. When I found out I was selected to represent my country, I felt a jolt of excitement and empowerment. I understood the honor and sense of fulfillment the opportunity would bring, and I believed that it would stimulate much-needed awareness regarding the importance of fitness. As a healthcare consultant for more than a decade, I have helped thousands of people cultivate a healthy lifestyle. When I learned I had been selected by the Olympic committee, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to inspire other people.
For me, this once-in-a-lifetime experience brought with it three desirable things: A worthwhile experience to cherish forever, an honor to keep and an inspiration to mankind. On 18 June, I proudly carried the flame throughout Bridlington, England. Along with the other torchbearers from different countries around the world, I had my moment to shine and bring pride to both my country and fellow Saudi nationals. The 70-day torch relay may have been just a simple part of the 2012 Summer Olympics, but for me nothing can be compared to it. I consider this experience a significant milestone in my life, as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.