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by David G. Miles Jr.
The Friday Night Skate, that weekly nocturnal gathering of inline humanity that rolls through the San Francisco every Friday has reached a new milestone and also got to participate in San Francisco's Olympic history.
The Olympic Torch Run Ceremony organizers needed a group of swift, enthusiastic people to make the public aware of when and where the torch was coming. Five teams of skaters volunteered the time and energy to help get things rollin'. When you saw people lining the streets to watch the torch runners, it was due in large part to the work and determination of this group of skaters who met the torch as it came into San Francisco and worked the entire route to the Embarcadero getting people out there to share this exciting moment in history.
As the torch approached downtown San Francisco, the Midnight Rollers began to gather at the Ferry Building in the Embarcadero. At 8:15 the skaters began making their way to the TransAmerica Building at Columbus and Montgomery. They lined both sides of the street and all the intersections as the torch runners came close. The crowd roared as the runners passed by.
The police, the FBI, the Georgia State Patrol and the San Francisco Motorcycle Patrol were all running around as if the skaters were going to attack someone.
Their attitudes soon turned into smiles as they all realized that the skaters were no threat at all. They allowed us to fall in behind the torch runners to form an Olympic level Midnight Roller skater support brigade as they ran the last few blocks to Justin Herman Plaza. It was truly one of the most memorable moments the Midnight Rollers.
The skaters returned to the Ferry Building parking lot dancing, laughing and just having a great time when a huge fireworks display went off. This may signaled the end of the Olympic Torch Run Ceremony, but it was just the beginning for the Midnight Rollers. They started a little late, but the skater count a record 702 skaters. It was one of the most exciting nights ever for the Midnight Rollers.
To those skates that gave their time and effort for the torch run ceremony the entire skate community is grateful and proud of the example you set for us and our sport. Thank you.