Our golden girls light up the streets

Today Youth Sport Trust Ambassador Gail Emms joined 132 other Torchbearers as the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay made its journey from Luton to Oxford.

Today Olympic silver medallist and Youth Sport Trust Ambassador, Gail Emms, joined 132 other Torchbearers as the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay - presented by Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung - travelled 122.32 miles on its journey from Luton to Oxford.

At 8.39am this morning, on day 52 of the Olympic Torch Tour, friends, family and local residents lined the streets in her home town of Milton Keynes as Gail had the honor of carrying the celebrated flame. The badminton star was chosen by Lloyds TSB because of her contribution to her sport and inspiring young athletes through her support of Lloyds TSB National School Sport Week.

On being selected for the role, Gail said:

It's a great honour when you get awarded with medals and trophies for winning in sport, but to be recognised for your work, especially when you are so passionate about it, is something really special."

With a silver medal win from the mixed doubles event at the 2004 Athens Games and with years of sports presenting under her belt, including co-presenting the Olympic Torch programme in Peterborough last week, Gail is no stranger to pressure. However, this didn't stop her from being nervous on the day.

It's nothing like you've ever done before, you can't really prepare for it. I was worried I was going to fall over or that no one would turn up. I did actually trip up, but I managed to stay upright and the flame didn't go out. Lots of people turned up and there were so many children dressed up with homemade torches of their own; it was lovely to see.

Tomorrow will see another of our school sport ambassadors, Olympic Gold medallist Denise Lewis, carry the flame through Ascot. The former heptathlete will be running up Ascot High Street from 4.26pm.

Since retiring from their sports both Gail and Denise have powered their time into encouraging and inspiring young people to take part and enjoy sport, visiting a number of schools up and down the country, as part of their work with the Youth Sport Trust.

The Olympic Torch relay will cover 8,000-mile around the UK from Land's End, Cornwall travelling for 70 days, reaching all corners of the nation, ending its journey at the Olympic Stadium in London for the Opening Ceremony on 27 July.


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