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Swimmer Alice, 12, to be Olympic torchbearer
OLYMPIC dreams are already coming true for a young Bournemouth swimmer, despite her being just 12 years old.
Alice Tai hopes to represent Team GB one day but, for now, is more than happy with being selected as one of the torchbearers for 2012.
The disabled youngster from Barton-on-Sea attends Bournemouth Collegiate School and swims for almost 15 hours a week in pursuit of her dream.
She was nominated to be one of Britain’s 8,000 torchbearers by her former PE teacher, Nicola Pardoe, at Bournemouth School for Girls.
Her mum, Angela, said Alice was barely able to walk because she has club feet but is ranked in the top five in the country in her disability bracket for her swimming skills.
She was spotted last year by the British Swim World Class Talent programme and moved to Bournemouth Collegiate because it has a pool on-site and a flexible curriculum.
“Alice was thrilled when she found out she is going to be a torchbearer.
“We thought someone was winding us up at first but it’s true.
“We’re not sure exactly which part she will be involved in yet,” said Angela.
She said Alice will take part in trials in March in a bid to get into the paralympic team, but added: “She is very young and I think she knows it’s a long shot, but you never know. If not, she’ll try again next time.”
Alice has a 10-year-old brother, Christian, who is a top-ranked able-bodied swimmer, although Angela and their dad, Stephen, cannot swim at all.
Alice is among 6,800 people who have until January 25 to accept the dates they have been given, provide a copy of required documents and confirm uniform requirements.