Stan hopes Olympic dream will come true

A FORMER marathon runner from Suffolk is hoping to follow in the footsteps of sporting legends such as boxer Muhammad Ali and Australian gold medal-winning sprinter Cathy Freeman.

A FORMER marathon runner from Suffolk is hoping to follow in the footsteps of sporting legends such as boxer Muhammad Ali and Australian gold medal-winning sprinter Cathy Freeman.

Stan Cox, who has lived in Felixstowe for 25 years, is looking to achieve a lifetime's ambition and light the Olympic torch at the 2012 London Games.

Friends of the 87-year-old, who competed in the Olympics the last time they were held in the capital in 1948, have written to Lord Sebastian Coe at the National Olympic Committee asking for him to be considered as a potential candidate.

If given the nod it will mean Mr Cox will join a long list of illustrious company including Ali, who carried the flame into the arena at Atlanta in 1996, and 400m Olympic champion Freeman who lit the torch in Sydney in 2000.


You may also want to watch:


And even though he would be a sprightly 94 years of age when 2012 is in full swing he remains unfazed by the possible task that lies ahead.

Mr Cox said: “I would dearly love to be involved in the London games and it is my special wish to take the last flame into the opening ceremony and up the steps to light the torch.

Most Read

“Despite my age I still feel fit and think I could do it - I wouldn't even mind if climbing the steps killed me because what a way to go!

“But seriously I would be hugely proud to take part and even if I just got to take the flame for a lap of the track and then passed it on for the final bit it would be something.

“I know six years is a long way off but I keep myself fit and healthy.

“I was an international from 1939 until 1956 so I had a good 17 years at the top. I also competed at the Olympics the last time they were held in the capital and I don't imagine there can be very many of us left by now.”

Mr Cox competed in the London Olympics of 1948, racing on the track over 10,000m and four years later he ran the Olympic marathon in Helsinki.

He also represented his country at the Commonwealth Games of 1954, which were held in Vancouver, Canada.

He still works hard to keep in shape and is part of a team of volunteer health walk leaders in Felixstowe who organise and lead walks for local people to improve their health and fitness.

The letter, which was sent to Lord Coe earlier this month by Mary Bolton, leader of Felixstowe health walkers, reads: “Stan's dearest wish is to light the Olympic flame in the arena at the 2012 London Games. He says he wouldn't even mind if he dropped dead after lighting it!

“As a group we support his dream, although we don't think the last part is necessary. We would like him to enjoy watching the games too. Please might you consider Stan's dream when you are planning the 2012 opening ceremony?”

Mrs Bolton said: “Although Stan is now 87 he is an active and popular leader of our local health walk group.

“He took part in the last Olympic Games to be held in Britain in 1948 and we think it would be a lovely gesture, linking past and present, if he were to be chosen to light the flame.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus