Olympians give torch thumbs up

THE arrival of the Olympic flame could inspire a generation of Bostonians to achieve greatness in sport.

That is the opinion of Games veteran Melanie Marshall.

The 29-year-old swimmer – who competed at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 – is thrilled to see the Olympic torch relay come through Boston and her home village of Wrangle in the build up to London 2012.

It was in the village pririmary school pool that she discovered her love for the sport.

And has given the thumbs up for the symbol of the Olympics to pass through so close to that pool.

“I think it’s a great thing,” she told The Standard. “In terms of the torch and the Games themselves, they will breed a new generation of successful sportspeople.

“We won’t see that happen for another 12 years, but it will leave a legacy.”

As the torch makes its way through Wrangle, it will pass Mel Marshall Way, the road named in honour of the Olympian.

And Marshall joked the famous furnace should be forced into a cheeky diversion.

“Of cousrse it should,” she added. “You haven’t really been to Wrangle unless you’ve been down there.”

As the torch is carried from Wrangle to Boston it will also pass Old Leake’s Giles Academy.

Head teacher Chris Walls is a veteran of Munich 1972 – where he represented Great Britain in diving’s individual springboard.

“I think everything about the Olympics are great,” said Mr Walls, whose pupils continue to work on Games-based projects, with many displays on show in the school.

“It’s a wonderful event and we should look forward to London 2012, it’s been a long time since 1948 (the last Games in England).

“There will be a lot of excitement before and after the Games.”

However, Mr Walls admitted to mixed feelings about the torch relay.

He added: “My former coach (Derek Beaumont) had his name put forward to be a torch bearer. He coached many divers over the years.

“But, unfortunately, the organisers said ‘no’ to him. It seems minority sports don’t always get the credit they deserve.”