Marlborough student receives Olympic flame from sporting legend (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Marlborough student receives Olympic flame from sporting legend
9:12am Thursday 12th July 2012 in Marlborough
Marlborough student William Copp was handed the Olympic torch this morning by Olympic legend Michael Johnston.
The four-time Olympic gold champion emerged from Salisbury Cathedral at 7.49am today to start day 55 of the Torch Relay.
Minutes later a huge cheer went up as he passed the flame to 17-year-old William, a sixth former at St John's School Marlborough and a member of the Wiltshire basketball squad.
Among the watching crowds were William's parents John and Sally Copp, his grandparents who live in Salisbury, family members from Lancashire as well as Australia, and a huge contingent of William's friends, many from St John's.
William's dad admitted to having a tear in his eyes as he watched the ceremony. "I felt pretty proud," he said. "It was absolutely brilliant. I'm still buzzing"
Mr Copp, the director of the Marlborough Summer School, said the street was full of well-wishers when the family arrived to take up their position at 7am. "The street was already full," he said. "There was a really good crowd, especially when you consider it was so early."
Among those watching was Sue Smith, from Wiltshire Council, who has helped William, who was born with cerebral palsy, and the family since he was three years old. It was Mrs Smith who nominated William for the Torch Relay.
"She was there today in the background as she has always been for William," said Mr Copp. "She is a wonderful lady. She has fought for him always, for things like education grants and for taxis to school. We can't thank her enough."
The one person missing from the crowd was William's older brother Jack. He is in Australia with family, but is eagerly awaiting watching television footage of the occasion.