Magic moment as dad carries Paralympic torch
4:00pm Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
A COMMUNITY-MINDED dad from Lechlade helped to ignite Paralympic passion when he carried the flame on its journey to the Olympic Stadium.
Simon Paul was one of 580 torchbearers chosen to take the flame on a 24-hour relay over 92 miles, from Stoke Manderville in Buckinghamshire to the Olympic Stadium, for the Paralympic opening ceremony.
The former chairman of governors at St Lawrence School in Lechlade was selected because of his inspirational work with young people on a film-making project as part of BT’s Education Programme supporting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Simon, 55, had his family and a packed crowd to cheer him on as he carried the flame with a team of five torchbearers through Regent’s Park in Camden.
The dad-of-three said: "I’m still in shock about it all. It was such a fantastic experience and the level of excitement in the crowd was unbelievable - a very memorable moment in my life."
Along with meeting one of Great Britain’s most successful Paralympians, Baroness Grey-Thompson, Simon said a highlight of the day was watching a young boy light-up with joy when he gave him his torch to hold before the relay.
Now Simon is planning to make a visit to St Lawrence School to share his experience.
"I think it opens people’s minds to what they can do, not what they can’t do," he said.