Although a Canadian land-preservation group tried to stop Akshay Kumar‘s Olympian sprint in Toronto on Thursday evening, no power on earth could take away the exhilaration of the moment from Akshay.
His joy at representing the country with such a singular honour has now multiplied. After Akshay carried the torch at one of the most well-attended street events in Toronto, the Olympics committee in all their wisdom, decided to gift the Olympian torch to the Khiladi star.
Unable to contain his excitement at the honour, Akshay on his return to Mumbai on Sunday morning said, “Carrying the torch across the longest street in the world was the greatest honour I could hope for. But when after the event the Olympics committee gifted me the torch, I almost broke down. My first thought was for my son Aarav who would now be able to keep that precious torch with him for a few days. My second thought was, ‘will I carry it back to Mumbai safe and sound?'”
At the Toronto airport, the authorities were excited by the very unusual cabin luggage that Akshay had brought with him. “They didn’t even check the torch! I was just asked to proceed with it.”
Throughout the long trip from Toronto to Mumbai, Akshay clutched the torch in his hands as he sat thinking of what to do with the precious possession.
“It was during the long flight that I decided what to do with the torch. I’ll be auctioning it and use the money to help the children who participate in the Special Olympics.”
Reliving the golden moments when he carried the torch in Toronto on Thursday evening, Akshay says, “About 7000 to 8000 Indians including those who had come from other cities like Montreal and Vancouver lined up on both the sides of Yonge Street which at 15,00 miles is the longest street in the world. I started at 7.30 pm. But people had already gathered by 5 pm. I covered about Â½ a mile in 20 minutes. I can only tell you, it was the most exciting and magical moment of my existence.”
Akshay’s spirits were not dampened by a group calling itself the Torch Extinguishing Committee.
Says Akshay, “I don’t know whose torch they came to extinguish. It was certainly not mine. I heard they were around somewhere on that street. Like I told you,s it’s the longest street in the world. I completed my sprint without obstruction. I could hear people shouting, ‘Spoil-sports, spoil-sports!’ against these protestors. I’m sure they were protesting for a worthy cause. But why dilute sports by bringing politics into it?”