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.
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.