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UNC decathlete joins in Olympic torch relay

Posted June 15, 2012

Joe Hutchinson ran a leg of the Olympc torch relay in May.

— The Olympic torch is making its way around the United Kingdom to London for the Opening Ceremonies right now for the 2012 Olympics and one University of North Carolina athlete got the unique opportunity to be a part of the relay.

Joe Hutchinson competes in the decathlon for the UNC track team, a rarity in the days of specialized athletes. But the freshman from Bowerhill, Melksham has become somewhat of a star in the small town in the UK. So much so that he was the easy choice to represent his neighbors by carrying the flame - guided by police escort.

UNC's Hutchinson part of Olympic torch relay UNC's Hutchinson part of Olympic torch relay

"You get mobbed by the people standing on the side of the road. That's when I was like, 'this is a massive thing,'" Hutchinson said. “My school nominated me; my P.E. teacher. It was part of a competition and I won which I was really grateful for."

Realizing the honor, Hutchinson flew home to England, during exams and track season, to take part in the relay. It was an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

"It made me proud because so many great people have done it and I was one of those people,” he said. “I haven't done much compared to them."

Hutchinson ran about 600 meters with the torch on May 23.

Hutchinson hopes this is just the start of his Olympic memories, though. He wants to represent his country in Track and Field events during the 2016 games. Right now, he's going to enjoy playing a small part in getting the flame to London.

"It's going to be special,” he said. “Maybe one day I can be in the stadium for the Opening ceremonies."

7 Comments

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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jun 16, 2:35 p.m.

    I caught the piece WRAL-TV did on him; he seems like a great guy. Happy that he has the honor of carrying the Olympic torch.

  • Hokies94 Jun 16, 1:43 p.m.

    I'm happy for this young man. His Country is proud as should UNC.

  • tommybrownnc Jun 16, 7:12 a.m.

    What a great thrill and honor this must have been for him. Congrats!!

  • Flagship_You Jun 16, 2:23 a.m.

    Or better yet, maybe we just don't give a crap either way.

    Your angry tone, defensiveness, and your 30,000+ anti-Flagship posts suggest otherwise.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jun 15, 10:18 p.m.

    Oh Boy. The ABC crowd is NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS ONE BIT.

    — Posted by Flagship_You

    Or better yet, maybe we just don't give a crap either way.

    This is an honor for him. More power to him.

  • 903 G I Rogue Jun 15, 8:14 p.m.

    Hope he makes it back across the pond in time for AFAM summer session. Oh, he's probably on the independent study option.

  • Flagship_You Jun 15, 7:58 p.m.

    Oh Boy. The ABC crowd is NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS ONE BIT.

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