Inspirational pair to be 2012 torchbearers

A TWELVE-year-old with Down’s Syndrome who wants to be a pop star and an 81-year-old magazine editor for the disabled will be among the first 394 people to carry the Paralympic torch.

Despite their very different backgrounds, schoolgirl Nicole Williams of Camberley, Surrey, and Patricia Marjoram of Little Ellingham, Norfolk, have both been picked because they show the Paralympic spirit, London 2012 said.

Sporting the white and blue uniforms they will wear during this summer’s national torch relay, Nicole said: “My dad and my brothers will be very proud.

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“I want to be a pop star so it will be like I am a pop star.”

She will with friends and staff in the team be representing the Stepping Stones DS charity which supports the families of people with the syndrome.

Ms Marjoram is rewarded for a lifetime of community work.

She runs a local art group of the Society for Disabled Artists (Soda), is editor of the national Soda magazine, and runs an annual art holiday for the disabled. This is despite a lifetime of ill-health including cancer and TB and heart problems.

Most of the torchbearers were chosen through public nomination campaigns run by London 2012 sponsors BT, Lloyds TSB and Sainsbury’s plus the British Paralympic Association.

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The flames will be lit in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, united at the Paralympic Flame Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic Movement, to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.

There will be 116 teams of five torchbearers who will take it on its 24-hour overnight journey from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony on August 29.