Thursday 14 June 2012
Stirling based student athlete Hope Gordon led the way for the Olympics recently when she carried the torch for a stint in Inverness.
Hope (17) from Rogart, about 70 miles north of the city, was nominated by her mum Rona and dad John and only found out in March that she would be taking part and carrying the torch on Saturday 9 June, for 300 metres.
Hope - who suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophe – is one of the most promising Paralympic swimmers in Scotland at the moment. She has just completed a Higher Access course at the old Forth Valley College Stirling Campus and expects to progress onto an HND in Sports Coaching at FVC’s Falkirk Campus in August. Last year she studied through a Winning Student Scholarship and did her swim training at Stirling University.
Despite suffering from constant chronic pain in her legs Hope has made tremendous progress in her swimming classification recently. She said: “I had been looking forward to carrying the torch ever since I found out.
“It was really exciting to do it, what a wonderful experience. I feel honoured to have carried it and I think it will definitely inspire me. Just to be part of the Olympic build up has really encouraged me to try to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. But for now I hope to push on and qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.”
Maureen Thompson a Learner Development Worker at Forth Valley College, said: “Hope is an excellent and inspirational student. All the staff and her classmates at the campus are extremely proud of Hope and her achievements. They were all looking out for her on the TV. Well done Hope!”
Martin Boyle, Hope’s English Lecturer, said: “Hope manages to rise to every challenge in a fantastically positive way and her attitude lights up the class. This is a very fitting tribute for all Hope’s hard work and excellent attitude.”