No light shed on torch swap 2012 plea

David Bradford
David Bradford

A PAIR of Olympic torch bearers are still no nearer to finding out whether they will be able to swap their slots and carry the flame through their home towns.

The Herald reported earlier this year how David Bradford had been selected as one of eight people to ferry the flame through the streets of Eastbourne.

Despite being honoured to have been chosen from the thousands who were nominated, Mr Bradford was left baffled by the fact he was pencilled in for the Eastbourne leg while people from Eastbourne had been allotted a run in his hometown of nearby Lewes.

The 29-year-old, who has raised thousands of pounds for charity despite gradually losing his sight, said he was disappointed that friends and family would have to take time to trek to Eastbourne to cheer him on and appealed for any Eastbourne-based runners picked for Lewes to come forward and trade time slots.

And, no sooner had it been featured in the pages of the Herald, a potential swap partner came forward. N

ick Webborn is the chief medical officer for the British Paralympic team for the London 2012 Paralympic games and was rewarded for his decades of service to disabled athletes by being picked to carry the flame through Lewes.

However, he lives in Eastbourne and agreed a swap, if possible, made perfect sense – particularly as he has been given a less than ideal leg.

He said, “I live and work in Eastbourne so it would obviously be better for me to do it here. I totally understand if they cannot allocate me a place in Eastbourne because of availability but clearly if there is someone from Lewes who has been allocated Eastbourne then it would be better for both of us.

“I contacted LOCOG as I was concerned about being put on the hill section in Lewes as I am a wheelchair user and this would be impossible considering the gradient. I had a fairly standard email response saying they couldn’t change the place where you did the relay but this seemed irrelevant to my question.

“I was very happy to do in Lewes if that is all there is but wanted to ensure it would be on flatter gradient.”

The Herald has put the proposal to Olympic organisers LOCOG and is still waiting for a verdict.

The torch is due in Eastbourne and Lewes on July 17.