Banstead rotarian chosen to carry Olympic torch
9:18am Thursday 10th May 2012 in Epsom
A leading Rotarian and sports fan has been chosen to carry the Olympic torch this summer.
Mike Thorn, 49, of Osier Way in Banstead, was nominated by his colleagues at British Airways (BA), where he has worked since leaving school.
BA, one of the sponsors of the Olympic Games, has selected just 30 employees across the world to be torch bearers, and Mr Thorn, a project manager at the company, said he was nominated for the active part he plays in his community.
The father-of-two said: "It’s extremely exciting. I was over the moon to be nominated because it’s something money can’t buy and it is a real honour to be able to do it. It’s an incredibly exciting year.
"I learned last November that my name had been put forward by BA to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and I have had a smile on my face ever since."
Mr Thorn said he was nominated for his many service to Cheam Rotary Club and in July he will become a district governor for the organisation.
He said: "I will be looking after, supporting and being the public face for all the rotary clubs across the area - from the clubs in Epsom to Hounslow and Aldershot to Croydon. They are only 28 of these governors in the UK.
"I’m also leading a national rotary appeal to provide up to 100 sports wheelchairs for young people during the Olympic year across the country."
But despite living in Banstead, Mr Thorn will be carrying the flame on July 20 through Sevenoaks, even though the flame will be travelling through parts of nearby Mole Valley, Sutton and Croydon.
He said: "Don’t ask me how they allocated the locations - I know people who have been selected from Birmingham and are running with the torch in Cardiff. But, for me Sevenoaks is not that far. It will still be great fun.
"There are eight thousand of us across the country - some are celebrities but many others have been chosen for what they do elsewhere. It’s something you can’t do again."
A big sports fan, Mr Thorn has tickets to three events at the Olympics, but will also be volunteering as a ‘games maker’ at the marathon and cycle races.
He said: "I’m extremely excited about the Olympics. I’m pro all sports events. The Olympics is a wonderful thing and it can only be good for the UK. I’m sure it will come good on the day and that a large population of the country will find something to enjoy from it.
"I just can’t wait. My only problem is that it will all happen too quickly."