THE first Olympic Torchbearers from Northumberland have been revealed.
The London 2012 Olympic Games will incorporate a 70-day Olympic Torch relay and the first inspiring local heroes from the region who will have the honour of taking part have been announced.
Jess Colborn was one of the first to discover she would be taking part in the relay, and the 18-year-old from Allenheads in Northumberland said she was delighted to have been given the opportunity.
"Carrying the Olympic torch is an amazing thing to get involved with. It will be great for me and it shows just how far I have come," said Jess who suffered a stroke and had to learn to walk all over again.
Jess, 18, who studies at Haydon Bridge High School, thought she had a migraine and friends believed she was drunk when she began slurring her speech last May.
Her condition swiftly deteriorated and when her father Andrew took her to hospital, a stroke caused by a congenital abnormality was diagnosed.
"The relay will be two years on from that, and it will be a great way to celebrate," she said.
Jess, who wants to study medicine at university, believes she is 90% along her road to recovery and hopes to start training runs before she carries the torch, but even if she walks the 300m or so of the relay, she said it would be a major achievement.
Her mother Catherine said: "I will be so proud. I am anyway as it is amazing how far she has come."
Also revealed as a Torchbearer for the region was Mick Riding from West Moor in North Tyneside. The 55-year-old IT project manager was nominated by his wife Annette for his role inspiring and training youngsters at North Shields Hockey Club.
"It is absolutely top dollar – I’m not quite sure what phrase to use," said father-of-four Mick.
Page 2: Games flame will make a four-day journey of region
Games flame will make a four-day journey of region
FAMILIES will be able to catch a glimpse of the Olympic flame during its four-day journey through the North East
The flame will arrive in the region through Berwick on Thursday, June 14, and move down through Bamburgh before stopping for night celebrations in Alnwick.
On June 15 the torch will continue its journey through the region passing through Amble, Ashington, Blyth, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth and Wallsend before stopping again in Newcastle for more celebrations.
The following day, June 16, the torch will move to Gateshead via a zip-wire across the Tyne Bridge and carry on to South Shields, Sunderland, Blaydon, Hexham, Consett, Castleside and Langley Park before stopping in Durham for another party.
The flame will begin to move out of the region on Sunday, June 17, when it travels from Durham down to Hartlepool and Darlington before stopping in Middlesbrough.