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Disabled swim champ keeps Paralympic flame burning
A FORMER disabled swimming champion is keeping the Paralympic flame alive.
Ian White, 65, who carried the English Paralympic Flame when it came to the borough at the start of the Games, has had a display box crafted so that the lantern can be enjoyed by the community.
The grandfather, who has been disabled since suffering from polio when he was nine months old, said he wants to keep the Paralympic legacy alive and to promote the cause of the disabled in Weymouth and Portland.
He said: “This flame is part of Weymouth and Portland’s legacy and part of the Paralympics. This is part of my legacy as well and it’s great to be able to give something back to the people of the borough.”
He added: “I’m more than happy for it to be used by the community and for anyone to come and see it or to use it to support a good cause.
“It puts smiles on people’s faces and it makes me happy.
“I don’t know what it’s like to run, to skip or to dance and I’ve grown up without the use of my legs.
“I class myself as a lucky disabled person because I haven’t known anything else. The main flame is with Weymouth and Portland Borough Council so I bought my own.
“I’ve had it engraved by a local company and I asked Paul Harrison, of South Dorset Wood Carvers, to make a display box.
“He’s done a beautiful job – it sits on a little boat in a mahogany cabinet. The casing is fantastic and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in making it for me.”
He added: “Chesil Sailability, which provides sailing opportunities for disabled people on Portland, asked to use it and the lantern has become a symbol for the group.
“They used it for their open day and for a volunteer night.
“We sold raffle tickets for the chance to light the flame and the woman who won was overwhelmed to be able to do it.”
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