An Email message sent to schools worldwide 31. January 1994, at 9.45 am.

The Olympic Torch visits Fetsund

By  Wigo H. Skråmm

Fetsund, 31. January 1994, at 9.45 am.

This morning all school children in Fetsund came to school at 7.15 am. None of them had ever started school this early in their lives. But, they didn't go to class. Instead they lined up for a procession down to the village square.

At 7.45 about 1000 school-children between the ages of 7 and 16 and their teachers, arrived at the town square. The trumpeters were ready. Some of them had started "warming up" their instruments at 6 o'clock this morning, a spectator complained. The school choir was ready and the mayor was ready to give his speech. The temperature was -12 Celsius.

The children lined up waiting for the BIG moment.

At 8.03 a murmur was heard among the children. Can you see it? Where? There! Oh, yes! A small flickering flame could be seen in the distance -moving closer every minute. After 6870 km the Olympic torch was arriving for a short stop in Fetsund.

It was lit in Morgedal, in Telemark, Norway in December by Princess Märtha Louise of Norway. After the first leg, the torch was passed on to the next person in this giant relay around the country.

From Telemark it was passed from person to person along the coast all the way up to North Cape. From there it headed south again. In every town, in every village around the country the Olympic torch makes a short stop and the local people get together to hold a small ceremony in honour of the Olympic Flame and the Olympic spirit.

This morning it reached Fetsund.

At 8.04 gloves and mittens gave the applause a muffled sound, but the children's voices, cheering, came out loud and clear this dark January morning. Only a small streak of light on the sky could tell you that daybreak was just minutes away.

Trumpets sounded a fanfare, the Olympic torch was used to light a bon-fire. A Children's choir from Hovinhøgda Elementary School gave it their all. At 8.09 the Olympic torch continued on his next leg.

Two children from each class were given a torch each and these children went up to the bon-fire and lit their torches. Last Friday each class had drawn lots to decide who would be "Kristin" and Haakon" in their class.

The mayor gave his speech, fire-works lit the sky and the school choir rounded it all up.

Wit thesun rising, the "Olympic" procession started back to school with two proud torch bearers (and a terribly nervous teacher watching them) in front of each class.

The torch bearer from Fetsund was by then well on his way on the next leg of the Olympic torch relay.
In February, the day before the Olympic opening ceremony the torch will arrive in Lillehammer.
The odd thing about it all is that this is NOT the official Olympic flame from Greece. The official Olympic flame will arrive by plane from Greece and be used for the Olympics. Every Norwegian , however, thinks that the Morgedal flame from the place where modern skiing was born, is a more appropriate flame for the Winter Olympics, but It will burn only the day before the Olympic Games start, then be hidden away during the Games. It will, however, reappear for the Para-Olympics a fortnight after the ordinary Olympic Games are finished. The Olympic Games for the disabled will therefore take place under the flame from Morgedal, The Cradle of Skiing.

Have a nice day all of you,

Best Regards, Wigo

P.S. Now that we have returned we are going to try to thaw out our frozen limbs with some HOT juice and HOT-dogs before starting classes again.

Updated  1. May 1999 by The Local History Resource Centre Fet