DUNS Olympic torch bearer Iain McDonald can now look forward to his leg of the nationwide relay without the prospect of having to travel hundreds of miles for his once in a lifetime moment as relay organisers have now given permission for him to carry the torch through Berwick.
Iain was thrilled to discover that he had been selected as one of Coca Cola’s representatives for the torch relay which will take in many cities, towns and villages in England, Scotland and Wales as we edge ever closer to the start of London 2012.
However, the shine was taken off his celebrations when it was announced that he would fulfill his Olympic duties in Ayr - hundreds of miles from his home town and the people who nominated him for the honour.
We reported last week that on learning of Iain’s six hour round trip to complete his leg, Berwickshire Wheels stepped in and offered him free transport to Ayr but we’re now happy to report that Iain will only need to travel for around half an hour there and back now the location’s been changed to Berwick.
Iain, who has cerebral palsy, was told the good news last Wednesday, April 4 in an email from the Torchbearer Operations department of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games which read: “We have looked into your query further with Coca Cola regarding a possible slot move and we have some good news; someone has withdrawn from the relay in the Berwickshire area therefore we are pleased to confirm that we have been able to move you in to this slot. You will now carry the flame on Friday, June 14 in Berwick upon Tweed.”
One of Iain’s biggest champions is Berny, the man who nominated him for the Olympic torchbearer role last year, and although he is still slightly disappointed Iain won’t be able to parade the flame through the streets of Duns, he was thrilled Ian’s leg had been moved closer to home.
“This is a happy ending for Iain and a much more pleasing outcome. There’s no doubt about it, Iain would have gone to Ayr despite it being one hell of a journey and loved every minute of it.
“The fact that Iain will now complete his section in Berwick means that more of his supporters will be able to experience his big moment and Duns Archery club members will be out in force.
“Without labouring the point too much Iain is a guy who’s had his fair share of challenges but he doesn’t let them get in his way.
“He was one of the first people to join up to the archery club and he’s never missed a week.
“He’s a lovely chap and I’m sure getting to carry the torch will mean a lot to him and those who know him.”