December 5 2013 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
An Olympic torchbearer who received devastating head injuries in the bomb blast of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics shared his experiences of carrying the torch with hundreds of schoolchildren.
Brian Carr, 69, from Acle in Norfolk, has already carried the torch but was asked to bring it to Kaizen Primary School in Elkington Road, in Plaistow by his niece Kerry Scott, who is trainee headteacher at the school.
Brian was in the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, USA, on July 27 when a bomb went off in the early hours of the morning. Two people died in the aftermath and as many as 200 were thought to have been injured.
It left Brian needing extensive brain surgery which was followed by years of rehabilitation.
He spent most of the day talking to children at the school about how he was chosen to carry the torch, what it felt like when he was carrying it and whether or not he has met any other carriers.
Many of the children also had the unique experience of holding the torch which Brain said is made of a metal mesh with 3,000 holes to signify the number of bearers.
The day culminated with a Q&A session with some of the older children. One wanted to know what Brian did if he got hungry while carrying the torch, another wanted to know what would happen if the torch went out while it was being carried.
Brian, who plans to visit his grandchildren in Swindon to show them the torch, told the Recorder: “When Kerry asked me about it, because I know what the school is trying to do, I did not have a moment’s hesitation. The children asked me some very perceptive questions but I have to say I am just an ordinary person who has been asked to carry the Olympic torch.”