- Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Moira, 84, is official 2012 Olympic torch bearer after completing marathon...on two walking sticks
A disabled woman will carry the Olympic torch after completing the equivalent of the London Marathon by walking around her village hall nearly 2,000 times - using her two WALKING STICKS. Sprightly Moira Starkey, 84, took four months to walk a total of 26.38 miles - the equivalent of 1,876 laps of her village hall.
Moira, who has never married and has no children, spent every night walking around the 74ft perimeter of her village hall opposite her home in Storridge, Worcs. Now she has been selected as one of 8,000 bearers of the official torch as it travels around the country ahead of the London Olympics in the summer.
Incredibly, Moria, a retired housekeeper, needs two walking sticks after having both knee joints replaced, including a double joint replacement on her left knee. She set off on her mammoth walk at the Storridge village hall in January last year in aid of her local Haven Breast Cancer Charity in Hereford.
She said: ‘’I wanted to raise money for charity so a friend suggested I do a marathon. ‘’I thought the only way to do the marathon was in stages and in my village hall which is across the road. ‘’We worked out I would have to walk round it nearly 2,000 times so I set off and did a few laps each night.
‘’It took me two minutes to do each lap and I stopped after three or four for a rest and sometimes a cup of tea, then carried on.’’ Moira completed her final few laps in April last year to tumultuous applause from her supporters. She said: ‘’I was born lazy and I’ve never been interested in sport in my whole life so I surprised myself when I finished the marathon.
‘’The winter nights were quite cold in the hall but I wore an extra jumper when it got really nippy. ‘’I don’t quite know how I will carry the torch because I need both my sticks to walk so they’ll have to attach it to me somehow. I’m just happy to be involved.’’
So far Moira has raised over £10,000 for charity by staging events including an annual pancake race and indoor curling nights. After news of her triumph spread, she was chosen as one of several hundred people taking it in turns to carry the torch in Herefordshire through Ledbury, Bartestree, Lugwardine, Hereford and Leominster on May 24.
Organisers of the London Olympics were unable to confirm whether Moira would be the oldest torch bearer in the country. But a spokesman for the London 2012 Organising Committee said: ‘’this lady is certainly one of the oldest people invited to be a torch bearer. ’The torch will be lit and there will be a way she will be able to carry the torch even with two walking sticks.’’
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