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Sale teenager felt like celebrity when he carried the Olympic Torch through Chester
12:00pm Tuesday 5th June 2012 in Trafford Sport
CARRYING the Olympic Torch is everyone’s dream and for one Sale teenager, that dream most definitely came true.
After carrying the Torch through the streets of Chester on Wednesday (May 30), 17-year-old Conor Keohane says he felt like a celebrity.
The tennis enthusiast, who was nominated for the job by the Lawn Tennis Association, had already lost hope of carrying the flame.
Conor had applied to carry the torch a commercial ballot but missed the deadline by a matter of minutes. Devastated, Conor felt his chances were all but gone.
Fortunately for Conor, the LTA, the sport’s governing body, put him forward in recognition of his volunteering work for the sport in his local community. By doing so, Conor was added to a list of prestigious candidates including Andy Murray, Paralympic multi-gold medallist Peter Norfolk and British No.1 Elena Baltacha.
Conor said: “I was gutted I’d missed the deadline but a couple of days later my mum came up to my room to say I’d been asked to take part. I was totally shocked.”
Supported by friends and family, Conor, who won the LTAs Young Volunteer of the Year award in 2010 for his outstanding contribution to Brookland Sports Club, took to the streets on Wednesday, torch in hands.
He said: “On the day I couldn’t believe how many people were out lining the streets, I thought it was just going to be a few people but the crowds were ten deep.
“Once I had the torch in hand I was mobbed from all angles, people were asking for photos and to shake my hand – I felt famous.”
Conor described the event as “huge” and said he was surrounded by security and followed by around 20 cars.
The teen, who has already volunteered to help at the Olympic Games, says he was already excited and cannot wait to get involved further.
Roger Draper, CEO at the LTA, said: “Conor is a remarkable young man. He should be proud of what he has achieved through his volunteering and we were delighted he was able to represent British tennis in the relay.
“Running with the Olympic Torch is a very special experience and he absolutely deserved his moment in the spotlight.”