Elmo's burning desire: To carry the Olympic flame

Sesame Workshop

Not only athletes carry the Olympic flame; people with a strong sense of community and adventure are also chosen for the honor. But the upcoming London Olympics may mark the first time that a monster has gotten to be a torchbearer.

OK, so it's just a little monster. Specifically, Elmo, the perpetually 3-year-old Muppet superstar of "Sesame Street," has begun a campaign to secure a position as an Olympic torchbearer through his own promotional video and a Facebook page, "Elmo Should Go to the Olympics," set up by his friends. 

Elmo’s executive producer, Carol-Lynn Parente, told TODAY.com that Elmo is a perfect candidate for the job because he’s an exuberant monster with a penchant for sports. “He loves the fun of being an athlete,” she said. “He’s learned lots of things on Sesame Street about exercise being good for you.”

To help him land the torchbearer gig, Elmo has been practicing Olympic sports such as hurdles, weight lifting, and gymnastics. “He’s a natural at the shot put event,” Parente said, adding that “kids love throwing things.” 

Though Elmo’s favorite sport, miniature golf, is not an Olympic event, Parente says she wouldn't be surprised if it became one once Elmo gets done. that could perhaps become an upcoming campaign if Elmo’s if his Olympic bid is successful. The orange tyke with the squeaky voice is well known to be one of the most persistent characters on Sesame Street. 

Sesame Workshop

In the video of Elmo getting ready in London, he is carrying a prototype of the Olympic torch and accidentally leaves it with a stranger. So if the little monster does get to be an Olympic torchbearer, how can his fans be sure he won’t leave it somewhere?

“Sesame Street kids and even the puppets use lots of techniques for remembering,” Parente assured TODAY.com. “We’ve had an incident where he’s tied something to his finger to help him remember, so maybe some sort of a flame-colored rope around his finger might help him to remember to carry the torch.”

Besides, Elmo is just too excited about the Games to forget something so important. And he’s certainly feeling optimistic about his chances. His video ends with, “See you at the Olympics, baby!" We hope so.

TODAY.com contributor Jillian Eugenios hopes that if Elmo does go to London, the entire Sesame Street crew will go along with him. She would love to see Mr. Snuffleupagus run hurdles. 

Related video:
Olympic flame ignited in Greece
Royals party as Olympic torch arrives in UK
London prepares for the spotlight


Discuss this post

St. Elmo's Fire.

  • 1 vote
Reply#1 - Tue Jun 5, 2012 11:53 AM EDT

I'm not sure what happened but somewhere along the line, about '72 or so, the Olympics just became unwatchable.

    Reply#2 - Tue Jun 5, 2012 11:56 AM EDT

    It is a rare honor for people to have the opportunity to carry one. I don't see giving up a spot for a real person for a company's own self promotion with a fictional character.

    • 1 vote
    Reply#3 - Tue Jun 5, 2012 1:55 PM EDT

    Fake polyester fur and a torch? That'd get me to watch!

      Reply#4 - Tue Jun 5, 2012 3:12 PM EDT

      Elmo loves self-immolation.

        Reply#5 - Tue Jun 5, 2012 3:28 PM EDT

        3 year olds shouldn't play with fire.

          Reply#6 - Tue Jun 5, 2012 7:08 PM EDT

          I would rather see Kermit,grover,cookie monster,gonzo,animal or almost any other muppet then .........him.

          • 1 vote
          Reply#7 - Wed Jun 6, 2012 12:24 AM EDT

          Elmo is source of not only entertainment but comfort and friendship for a lot of kids. I'm sure a lot more people would watch the Olympic torch being carried if he were part of it, I know plenty of kids AND THEIR parents who would be glued to the TV cheering.

            Reply#8 - Wed Jun 6, 2012 10:59 AM EDT

            Sounds great! Let's top it off by lighting the torch with a fart.

            The creator(s) of Elmo may be worthy of a jaunt around the corner with the Olympic torch but to pretend that a stuffed giggle toy is even in the running for such an honor is sad.

            Here's an idea, how about a puppet Olympics? Let all the fun loving characters with hands up their butts do whatever puppets do to honor the potential for their physical training and skill.

              Reply#9 - Wed Jun 6, 2012 11:52 AM EDT

              How in the World are they going to show the Muppet running with the torch? Will it be a Muppet handler going to run along with torch where the children can see the true Elmo. It's just a fuzzy cloth covered apparatus and not real. That will break heart of millions who think Elmo is real.

                Reply#10 - Thu Jun 7, 2012 9:45 AM EDT
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