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Light in the gloom
THE progress of the Olympic Torch across County Durham this week has been truly impressive for two reasons.
Firstly, the exercise has been impeccably organised, and many local people and organisations, councils and the police can take credit for that, as well as the London Organising Committee.
But more remarkable has been the response of communities who, without exception, have turned out to welcome the torch and the bearers through fair weather and foul.
The numbers of people who have made the effort to wait, cheer and wave the torch through their towns and villages has been magnificent.
This response is testament to the power of the Olympic ideal. In this cynical modern world, it shows we can still be enthused by the prospect of the sporting battles to come, even though the action, by and large, is taking place many miles away.
Even if we cannot witness the London Olympics ourselves, we have shared in the dream, just a little, by welcoming the torch to our communities.
Feel-good factor is a much abused phrase, but first the Jubilee and now the Olympic Torch have been a source of real celebration in a summer when the dismal weather has in many other respects matched the mood of the country.