Monday, 23 July 2012

Paralympic Flame Ambassador - Monday 23rd July

Turn back a few weeks.

I’m stood at the back of the school hall, it’s the end of the assembly that followed Evan’s Walk to School, and I’m stood next to Amy from the attendant entourage who turns to me and says “could you do more of this ?”. Full of adrenalin and pride, with that feeling of being able to do anything under the warm glow of Evan’s Big Journey, “of course”, I say.

Thinking nothing more of it, and once all of the “Walk to School” excitement calms down, life goes on. Time to pick Maya up from dancing, I check my emails while waiting.

One from Amazon, one from Vistaprint, one for Mum about her caravan, another one from Vistaprint and one asking if Ev will be Yorkshire & Humberside Flame Ambassador for the Paralympics, a couple of updates from twitter, one about an online survey......


One asking if Ev will be Yorkshire & Humberside Flame Ambassador for the Paralympics..

“...this summer we will be welcoming the Paralympic flame to Yorkshire and we would like to ask Evan to be the Yorkshire representative who brings the torch back to the county.

We were all hugely inspired by him and feel that he is the perfect person to ‘do the honour’. We also sent the story to LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) who thought the story was fantastic and are also in agreement that Evan would be the ideal representative to bring the flame to Yorkshire.”


Just couldn’t stop smiling - no grinning, from ear to ear - and couldn’t wait to get back to family to share the news. Amazing. So we replied quickly - yes, of course. Whatever it entailed. Yes - of course.

As more details came through, it got more exciting and more real.

the part we would like Evan to be involved in is attending the flame splitting ceremony in Trafalgar Square, London on Friday 24th August

What on earth might this mean.... More TV for sure, crowds, Seb Coe ? Boris Johnson ? David Cameron ? No idea - but it seems big. No..... BIG. Very BIG. Scary BIG. However, literally, the Chance of a Lifetime.

Then a really tiny setback - we can’t tell anyone until it’s announced officially.

That was 7 weeks ago - and since then the crescendo which surrounds the Olympics has grown and grown. We attended the torch relay and couldn't get within 500 yards of Skipton High St which was 10 deep. The crowds were immense, and we couldn't help wondering what Trafalgar Square would be like.....

In that 7 weeks we have had to keep it under our hat but now, and no apologies for the mixing of metaphors, the cat is out of the bag.

It gave me time to think - this couldn't have happened without Miss Court getting the school involved with the Walk to School project;
 - that couldn't have happened unless Ev had been to STL;
 - that couldn't have happened unless everyone we knew - all our friends, family, colleagues and complete strangers - pitched in and got us there;
 - that couldn't have happened unless Loup pushed for us to investigate SDR;
 - that couldn't have happened unless we found out about it;
 - that couldn't have happened unless the wonderful Dr Park was doing it in the first place.
 - all of that couldn't have happened unless we had been lucky enough to have Evan survive in the first place.

SDR Changes Lives.

What next ?

Well, the timing couldn't be better - with Evan having wowed the cream of Yorkshire’s journalists at the awards on Wednesday (see previous post) his fame now precedes him (check out Twitter, for example) and when Amy was speaking to various people they already knew who he was. As I post this, we have “press booked” for this morning and are heading to Leeds this afternoon for a couple of TV recordings. Keep an eye on Calendar and Look North....

More blog updates later on that.

Then we have to start thinking about the trip itself and preparing for what that actually entails. I’m sure Amy, Tom and the team will continue to look after us as superbly as they have already. At the minute we are excited, nervous and simply can't wait...

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