There were two amputees involved in the Olympic Torch relay as it made its way around Devon and Northern Ireland.
Mark Ormrod, a Royal Marine from Plymstock in Devon, lost an arm and both legs when he stood on a landmine in Afghanistan, described carrying the Olympic Torch as a “humbling experience”. He was told he would never walk again after he was badly injured on Christmas Eve 2007 while serving with 40 Commando. The 28-year-old compared carrying the Olympic Torch with the completion of his gruelling 3,500-mile charity run across America two years ago. The married father-of-one, who now works for the Royal Marines Association, and a team of Royal Marines completed the eight-week coast-to-coast journey named the “Gumpathon” in aid of injured service personnel. He said ”It’s on the same level. Anything to do with representing my country is a really big thing for me”.
Teenager Ryan Cinnamond, who battled back after losing both his legs through illness, was cheered on by hundreds as he carried the Olympic torch in Newry.The 17-year-old was welcomed with applause from a large crowd at Pairc Esler as he arrived with the flame. Ryan had been given just a 10% chance of survival when the largest artery in his body ruptured in 2010. But he survived against the odds to make a remarkable recovery and, with the help of his new prosthetic legs, was able to carry the torch on day three of its journey across Northern Ireland. ”It was such an honour to walk around especially in my hometown,” he said. ”It was just brilliant – the support people showed and how they supported me when I was ill is fantastic.”
Olympic ambassador, Lord Sebastian Coe, told the crowd who gathered in the Co Down arena that Ryan sums up everything he loves about the Games. ”Ryan is the embodiment of everything that we went to Singapore for with the London 2012 Bid” said Coe. ”Of course we wanted outstanding sports but we also wanted young people to challenge themselves and Ryan is the living embodiment of someone who has taken that up in difficult circumstances.”