Meet Hemel’s torchbearers

12-608      Olympic Torch Bearers at Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead.  From left, back row, Katherine Deal, Peter Statham,Rachel Gower and Ruth Bendle, -front row David Butler, Mandy Jinkerson and Tamsin Addison.
12-608 Olympic Torch Bearers at Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead. From left, back row, Katherine Deal, Peter Statham,Rachel Gower and Ruth Bendle, -front row David Butler, Mandy Jinkerson and Tamsin Addison.
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TORCHBEARERS who will be carrying the Olympic flame through Hemel Hempstead this Sunday met at a special reception at Hemel Hempstead Civic Centre.

A total of 17 people will bear the torch through the town and council bosses are expecting up to 50,000 spectators will line the route.

The torchbearers are looking forward to the historic moment but nerves abounded at the reception on Monday about dropping the torch.

Rachel Gower, 12, will run the leg from the Bennetts End roundabout to Jarman Park in memory of her brother Geoffrey, who was originally due to carry the torch but lost his battle against cancer.

“The cheering of the people will bring me on and hopefully drown out the sadness of it,” she said.

Ruth Bendle, who with her sister Lisa was the youngest in the country to have her stomach removed six years ago after being diagnosed with cancer, will tackle the uphill Queensway leg. “It has changed me but for the better,” she said of the illness. “It makes you realise what you’ve got. I think life’s about living and that’s what I try and do every day.”