Cambridgeshire powerlifter and medal winner Tom, 28, cheered as he carries Olympic torch into Felixstowe
ELY powerlifter Tom Baty – but formerly of Wisbech - was greeted by thousands of well-wishers as he carried the Olympic torch through Felixstowe last night.
Tom, 28, who has Down’s Syndrome, scooped four medals at the Special Olympics in Athens in 2011, won the under-82.5kg squat with a lift of 132.5kg, followed it up by winning the bench press with 90kg, the dead lift with 150kg, and topped it off by taking the overall honours with a combined weight of 372.50kg.
Baty, who won the 2009 British Championships, is trained by his dad Richard at the Paradise Centre in Ely and it was his dad who nominated him to carry the torch.
Richard praised his sons “huge enthusiasm and dedication” and the commitment of training at least twice a week for six years to reach the level he has attained.
“Many people have asked whether he will be taking part in the Paralympics in 2012, but we have had to explain that because his disability is intellectual rather than physical, he is not eligible for selection,” said Richard.
“Taking part in the torch relay however does help to show that people with learning disabilities can take part in sport to a good level.”
Meanwhile, 77-year-old Littleport resident, Norman South, said everything “went like a dream” on his leg of the relay through King’s Lynn on Wednesday.
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Dozens of people from Littleport, including friends and family, made the trip up to watch Norman, who said: “It was a very good day, there were lots of people there from Littleport to watch and it went like a dream.”
Norman already has plans to have his replica torch put into a special display case.
On social networking site Twitter, former Ely Olympian Goldie Sayers hailed the “amazing” turnout in Bourne, Lincolnshire, where she carried the torch on Wednesday (July 4)
Goldie, 29, completed her leg of the relay just hours after discovering that she had been selected to take part in the London 2012 games in javelin, a discipline she has dominated in Great Britain.