Pranksters pull off convincing Olympic Torch hoax in New York City

Improv Everywhere, a New York-based prank collective, persuaded members of the public to take part in 'historic' Olympic Torch run.

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The Independent Online

Becoming a torch bearer for the Olympic Games is a rare opportunty, so it came as no surprise when several members of the New York public jumped at the chance to take part.

Unfortunately for the unsuspecting public, however, it wasn't all that it seemed.

Video footage shows a performer from Improv Everywhere - by their own admission, "a prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places" - posing as an injured athelete asking pedestrians of New York if they can help carry the torch around the corner.

Once they agreed to participate, the volunteer sprints around the corner to find a long line of cheering fans greeting them as well as a local channel news crew, revelling in the glory of becoming an instant American 'hero'.

Some appear to be blissfully unaware that they are being taken for a ride, while others seem to be slightly bewildered but decide to take their 10 seconds of fame anyway. A select few may have known they were being taken for a fool, but apparently went along with it anyway just for the experience.

A touching moment arrives when a three-year-old girl is guided round with her mother, capping the success of what originally started as a prank but ended up as an unforgettable moment for some American citizens. 

Watch the video below: