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Leigh athletes among the Olympic heroes
7:30am Thursday 16th August 2012 in News
LEIGH Harriers were very much part of the Olympic dream.
Club secretary Graham Jackett and his wife, Linda, from Leigh along with runners Laura Riches, aged 19, from Tyldesley and 20 year-old Sarah Griffiths were part of the amazing team of volunteers who helped ensure London 2012 ran as smooth as clockwork.
Chilling out with fastest man on earth Usain Bolt and Jamaican team mates Yohan Blake and Warren Weir was a regular occurrence for Harrier Sarah.
She was one of the helpers who had the pleasure of working with the Jamaican team at their Birmingham University base camp.
"Yohan Blake was very shy but Usain Bolt was not at all arrogant . He's just really outgoing but very polite and always said 'thank you' and 'please'," said Sarah, who felt Mo Farah's double gold was the highlight of the Games. Sarah's clubmate and fellow student and endurance runner Laura got in possibly more track time than Team GB!
The national under 20s steeplechase champion, who ran in the Olympic trials, was one of the team who set up the hurdles on track and pole vault
"Super Saturday was amazing and when we put the cones out for the 10k event standing in front of 80,000 people was amazing. The whole place was just shaking," said Laura, who returned home before the closing ceremony so she could run for the Harriers last weekend. But she grabbed the chance to get in starting position in front of the podium with her eyes fixed on Rio 2016.
Retired school bursar Linda Jackett was one of just six volunteers who was chosen to go centre stage at Sunday's closing ceremony when Olympic athletes paid tribute to the many volunteers who had made the Games possible.
Linda, who worked at Tyldesley Central and Leigh St Peter's CE Schools, received a bouquet of flowers from Jamaican swimmer Alia Atkinson.
"It was absolutely amazing, tiring, but an absolute joy," said Linda, who was part of the accreditation team, and with husband Graham is a regular runner at the Harriers.
IT support worker Graham was one of the check-in team and together they spent a month in London staying with their daughter, Liz, who also worked at the event.
"It was a privilege to be part of the back of house workforce which is so vital whether at Olympic or club level," he said.
*Leigh Harriers are seeking marshals for their September 9 Pennington Flash trail run. Volunteers should call Joe Galvin on 01942 605201 (mornings).