Proud to carry the Olympic torch

Wayne Christie
Wayne Christie

A CHARITABLE Pocklington man is burning with excitement after being selected to carry the Olympic Torch through York.

Wayne Christie, of Gus Walker Drive, found out he had been chosen to carry the torch 500 metres through York last Friday, but the official announcement was on Monday.

The 58-year-old, a team manager for a company called Loop, which works closely with Yorkshire Water, was nominated for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by his work colleagues in October last year.

Wayne has spent the past 20 years doing volunteering work for a charity group called Water Wheelers.

Speaking about being chosen to carry the torch, which will travel about 8,000 miles around the UK, Wayne said: “It is absolutely superb. It is an honour. Not many people get this opportunity.

“I knew I had been nominated, but it’s a long, drawn out process to get to where we are today.

“I was hopeful I would get through the selection process, but not too hopeful as I didn’t want to get too disappointed.

“I’m looking forward to it immensely.”

Wayne, who has lived in Pocklington for about 20 years, is one of thousands of people in Britain who were nominated for the honour.

The famous torch comes to York on 19 June, which is when Wayne will be bear it, and will steam out of the city the next day from the National Railway Museum aboard the Scots Guardsman locomotive.

Some of the streets it will travel along include Tadcaster Road, The Shambles, Bishopthorpe Road and a section of the Bar Walls.

Wayne will not find out until mid-May exactly where he will be carrying the torch.

Some of the volunteering work Wayne has done over the years for Water Wheelers includes making Christmas hampers for the needy, helping schools by building flower beds and vegetable patches and collecting Christmas toys for underprivileged children.

Last June, he and his wife Linda were invited along to The Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for his extensive charity work.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “Everyone here is delighted that Wayne’s has been chosen to be one of the 8,000 torchbearers to carry the Olympic flame.

“In the 36 years he’s worked here, he’s spearheaded a number of major Yorkshire Water volunteering initiatives, which have made a huge difference to the communities we serve, so it’s great that he’s been recognised for this sterling work and celebrated in such an exciting way.”