Sport Student to Carry Olympic Torch15 June 2012 | news archive
A Leeds City College sports student is preparing to carry the Olympic torch next week.
21 year-old Jonny Johnson, who studies on the Btec Level 3 Sport and Exercise Science course, will be carrying the Olympic torch through Harewood on Tuesday 19th June, cheered on by friends and family.
Jonny, who lives in Huby near Harrogate, was nominated as Olympic Torchbearer by his family for the inspirational way in which he has overcome adversity.
When he was six months old he was rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties and he was not expected to live. His parents were told he would not be able to speak, read or walk properly.
From 21 months of age, he undertook speech therapy and physiotherapy and with the help and support of friends and family, he overcame the challenges he faced to prove the doctors wrong on every count.
Now a keen athlete, Jonny runs for Harrogate Harriers Athletics Club as well as coaching children at the club and at Harrogate High Spar Track. He is also a volunteer with St John Ambulance. His ambition when he leaves college this year is to go into coaching as a career.
Modest about his achievements, Jonny says: “I have met so many kind and committed people throughout my life who have helped me, from my grandma endlessly playing word building with magnetic letters to Jeff Leigh, junior coach at Harrogate Harriers who I met when I joined at age eight.”
Jonny’s fellow students and his personal tutor Vicky Harmer are thrilled that he has been selected to carry the torch. Several are hoping to come along to show their support on Tuesday.
He thinks the way the Torch Relay is travelling all round the country is great: “It gets the whole nation involved in the Olympic Games, you can see this by watching the crowds lining the streets when the torch goes by. I also think that it adds to the excitement, with the Games being only a few weeks away.”
Being a torchbearer is the icing on the cake for Jonny, who is already excited about supporting Team GB in the Games and watching his hero Usain Bolt, and has high hopes the Jamaican sprinter will set a new world record on the track.
Leeds City College
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