Olympic fanatics back Dorothy Tyler to light London’s flame

Less than two weeks until the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and the best-kept secret of the 2012 Games remains the identity of the ultimate torch bearer.

Silver Lady: Dorothy Tyler with her two Olympic silver medals, from the historic 1948 London Games and the infamous Berlin Games of 1936

David Beckham‘s ruled himself out (quite rightly – he’s never competed at an Olympics, a mere detail that escaped William Hill when they set their market aimed at grabbing headlines), and so the favourite status has correctly passed to five-time gold medal-winner Steve Redgrave.

But – nudged in the right direction by coverage from Inside Croydon – there’s a campaign gathering for Sanderstead pensioner Dorothy Tyler to be given the great honour.

At 92, as a veteran of the 1936 and 1948 Olympics where she won high jump silver medals on each occasion, Tyler would make an outstandingly emotional choice.

LOCOG, the Games organisers, speak seemingly unendingly about “legacy”, apparently to the expense of Britain’s sporting heritage. Choosing Tyler to light the Olympic Flame in the stadium, in front of 80,000 spectators and millions on global TV, would go a long way to redress that balance.

Tyler would follow in the flame-lighting footsteps of Cathy Freeman and Muhammad Ali, and her wonderful stories, as recounted to Inside Croydon here, she has captured the imagination of media around the world.

Inside Croydon has been contacted about Tyler by TV stations in America, China and Russia in the build-up to the Games, all keen to hear the south Londoner’s memories of the previous Olympics in this city, and her infamous meeting with Adolf Hitler in 1936.

And here’s an inside top from Inside Croydon: when the Olympic Torch Relay comes to Croydon on July 23, Tyler’s not on the list of those due to carry the flame. That is either a terrible oversight by the organisers, or indicative that she might have another role to come later that week.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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