Norfolk people get chance to shine at the Olympics

Norfolk people could be given their moment to shine at next year's Olympic Games after being shortlisted as a torchbearer.

Sarah Daniels, who lives in Eaton, Norwich, could be one of 2,012 people who will get the chance to carry the Olympic Torch ahead of the London 2012 Games.

Just 28,000 nominees were selected to go through to the next stage of the selection process.

Mrs Daniels, 44, was nominated after she founded the #NorRace Chicks, a group of women who met through Twitter and ran the Race For Life. She is also set to cycle from London to Paris later this month, just a year after taking up cycling.

The mum-of-one, who runs a health and safety consultancy with her husband Richard Mills, said: 'It would be a huge honour to carry the Olympic flame, I can't imagine it. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity.'

Meanwhile, Hayley Gerrard, who lives near Trafford Road in Norwich, and Sally Cushing, of Sprowston Road, have also been shortlisted.

Ms Gerrard's grandfather Hector Harold Whitlock won a gold medal for the 50km race walk at the 1936 Berlin Games.

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The 43-year-old, who works at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and volunteers for the Samaritans, said: 'I'm still a bit shocked to be shortlisted but very honoured to be in with a chance to carry the flame both from a family history point of view but also to be able to act as a representative for the local area.'

Long distance runner Ms Cushing, 46, was nominated by a fellow member of her running club Norwich Road Runners.

She said: 'My friend nominated me because she said I work hard and I support all the other members in the club. I felt really proud when I found out I had been shortlisted, things like that don't normally happen to me.'

Other Norfolk people shortlisted include three times World Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington, who is from Downham Market and was nominated by Norwich-based triathlon club Tri-Anglia.

Members of the public were given the opportunity to nominate someone living in the UK who had inspired them.

Those who have been shortlisted have been told they have a one in 14 chance of carrying the Olympic flame. They will hear more in December.

It is not too late to nominate someone to be a torchbearer. The nomination campaigns of the three Olympic Torch Relay Presenting Partners – Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung – remain open until September 2011.

Don't miss the latest edition of London Calling, the Evening News' Olympic supplement, on August 30.

Have you been nominated as an Olympic torchbearer or know someone who has? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email

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