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Olympic torch arrives in Marlow after all
ORGANISERS of the Olympics may have snubbed Marlow when it came to the destination of the flame but the torch has ended up in Marlow after all.
There has been controversy in recent months that the home of the country's greatest Olympian, Sir Steve Redgrave, was left out of the torch relay.
Campaigners claimed the town and Wycombe district in general had been snubbed.
But it has now arrived in the town thanks to Katharine Gourley, HR Manager at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Fieldhouse Lane, Marlow.
She brought back the iconic symbol of the games after carrying at it through Cardiff.
The Wycombe mum said she felt like a celebrity on the day as people cheered and took photos of her.
Hoards of Olympic lovers were out in force last weekend cheering and waving flags as the 35-year-old carried the infamous torch through the Welsh capital.
The proud parent describes the day as a once in a life time and emotional experience.
Mrs Gourley said: “I felt like a celebrity. Everyone was cheering and waving flags, people were coming up and asking about why I was nominated and taking my picture.”
She was nominated to bear the torch by her boss, following years of work with schools.
She said: “To be recognised for something that I feel is my duty and my job, and is something that I really enjoy doing, was a massive honour.”
Mrs Gourley was the second torch bearer with a Marlow link, following on from town resident Jane Daley the previous week.
The mum of one invites pupils to apply for fictional jobs online, she then goes through the children’s applications with them, giving feedback on their CV’s.
Mrs Gourley also helps out with enterprise days, gives talks to travel and tourism students and recently acted as a ‘Dragon’ for a Dragon’s Den style challenge at Great Marlow School.
Mrs Gourley was originally meant to do her leg of the relay in Taunton. She jokes her spot was taken by The Voice UK coach, Will.I.Am.
Unlike other flame bearers, Mrs Gourley has no plans to sell her torch, instead she’ll be taking it to local schools including Great Kingshill and Great Marlow.
“It’s a little piece of history that I can hand down to my son, Charlie.
“And it’s great for the children to have something from the Olympics that they can touch, it makes it real.”