The eyes of the world were on Middlesex University yesterday as the Olympic Torch made a lunchtime stop at the University's Hendon Campus, with Mayor of London Boris Johnson welcoming the torch relay party.
Thousands of Londoners lined the streets to see the oldest female torchbearer, 100 year-old Diana Gould, carry the torch to the University where Middlesex students, staff and local children cheered her on as she entered the building.
Later, Harry Potter star Rupert Grint emerged from the University and took the torch for his own leg of its 8000-mile journey.
“What a wonderful University,” said Boris Johnson. “The reception here was deafening. The real star of the show is Diana (Gould).”
The 100-year-old torchbearer Diana Gould said it was a great privilege to carry the torch into Middlesex University. "It’s wonderful all these people have turned out, it's really fantastic. Everyone has been so kind."
Actor Rupert Grint was staggered by the reaction and said he was amazed at the excitement for the Games. “I don't really feel worthy of it (carrying the torch), because it's such a big honour. To be part of it is really special to me.”
Outside the campus local bands and artists including Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade, Barnet Youth Brass Band and a number of talented Middlesex student performers entertained the crowds as they waited for the big moment when the torch arrived.
Middlesex Vice-Chancellor Michael Driscoll said: "It was a great honour for Middlesex to play our part in the Olympic celebrations. We welcome students from London and all over the world with many of them really excited to be in the Capital to witness this once in a lifetime event."
"I hope the Olympic Torch visit, just 48 hours before the Games begins, will generate a real buzz amongst our students and our local community, who turned out in force to celebrate with us."
Excitement has been building for weeks at the University, with Middlesex taking part in a number of activities in the lead-up to the Games.
Staff and students will be looking forward to cheering on judo star Lutalo Mohammed and fencer James Davis, both currently studying at the University and competing for Team GB at the Games.
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