Observer columnist Phil Packer to carry Olympic flame on final leg

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Local hero and Observer columnist Phil Packer will be carrying the Olympic flame through the streets of London today (Thursday, July 26).

The former Army major, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury in February 2008, will join the torch relay for its final leg just before the Games begin tomorrow.

He told of his excitement earlier this week, writing in his weekly column that ‘my thoughts will also be with West Sussex and the amazing support I have within our community for the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) and what we are striving to achieve’.

He added: “This very special occasion represents my past, my present and my future. I am very aware that only four years ago, no-one thought I was likely to walk again, so having the ability to stand, walk and carry the Olympic torch in my hand is a testimony to all those that took care of me.

“At the same time, when I carry the torch, I do so for all those young people I have met throughout the last four years and those I continue to meet who face their darkest times post-trauma.

“The day symbolises the future of what the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) will do to support generations of young people struggling to rebuild their lives after facing adversity.”