Northern Irish amputee teen to climb 2,789 feet to light the London 2012 Paralympics flame
16-year-old scout who doesn’t consider himself different in anyway the perfect candidate for the job
A 16-year-old Northern Irish scout, whose left leg was amputated below the knee, is set to climb one of the highest peaks in the UK to light the Paralmypic games torch.
Daniel O’Mahony will be part of a group of scouts climbing the 2,789 feet to the peak of Slieve Donard in County Down. The scouts will start a fire which will become the official flame for the London Games.
Scouts in Scafell Pike in England, Snowdon in Wales, and Ben Nevis in Scotland will do the same on those three peaks.
Speaking to the Standard, Richard Dorian, one of O’Mahony’s scout group leaders who also works with the company who makes his artificial legs, said, “Daniel was an ideal choice because he’s such a great role model. When he applied to join the Scouts he ticked ‘none’ in the box asking about special needs because he doesn’t consider himself to be any different.
“He went rock-climbing and the instructor didn’t even realize he was an amputee. He water-skis, gets involved in everything -- he’s a fantastic Scout.”
O’Mahony had his left leg amputated when he was a baby due to a birth defect.
Speaking about his role in lighting the Paralympic flame he said, “I am really honored to be taking part. I’m looking forward to climbing the mountain. I love tennis, football, running and swimming. I don’t really think about my leg at all.
“I haven’t got tickets for the Paralympics but it would be awesome to go.”
The flames will be carried in miners’ lanterns to each of the nation’s capital cities before uniting at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the Buckinghamshire birthplace of the Paralympic movement. Over the 24-hour relay before the games, the torchbearers will carry the flame on its final 92 miles to Stratford.
The final relay will involve 580 disabled and able-bodied bearers working in teams of five. The flame will arrive at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, 29th August.
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