Behind The Scenes

ESPN International commentator Quique Wolff carries Olympic Torch

The Olympic flame is one of the greatest symbols of the Olympic Games.

For the London 2012 Games, which begin one month from today, 8,000 bearers were chosen to carry the Olympic torch on its journey to ignite the cauldron at the opening ceremonies.

June 15 was unforgettable for Argentina’s legendary former soccer star and ESPN International commentator Quique Wolff, who had the privilege to be one of the 141 bearers who carried the torch between the cities of Alnwick and Newcastle just 42 days before the opening of the Olympic Games.

“I’m happy. If I had to describe it, that’s the feeling: I’m happy,” he said.

Wolff, now 63, enjoyed an impressive career as a soccer player in Argentina and Europe before becoming lead soccer commentator and anchor for Sportscenter on ESPN in Latin America.

“I was very thrilled and terribly nervous before I began, and that’s something that hasn’t happened to me in a very long time. Because at this point, when I go to watch a great soccer match, it’s a feeling I’ve had before, so it doesn’t grab me as much,” Wolff said.

“But this was something different. When I began to move, it was me who was running. My head was concentrating only on that. I felt that I was a part of the Olympic Games, as if I were participating next to Usain Bolt.”

Wolff was able to experience in those 700 meters something unique.

“They were strange sensations, because it was not a matter of going in to the stadium at Wembley, or Bernabéu, or playing a River-Boca. It was something from the present, to begin to live the Olympic Games and know that I was representing the ESPN family, a group to which I will always be grateful and that I feel is part of my life.”

“The torch and the clothes are put away forever, with the cups from my soccer days and the Martín Fierro trophies. But this is a different kind of prize because I didn’t win it, they simply gave it to me for having come to participate,” Quique said.

ESPN International will air more than 1700 event hours of the London 2012 Olympic Games in Portuguese and Spanish throughout South America.

With one of the widest, multichannel coverage plans ever of the Olympic Games in the region, ESPN International will dedicate six networks — at least three per country — to fulltime, high definition coverage of London 2012 in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.