THE announcement of the Olympic Torch Relay route through Wigan was a particularly special one for the town’s Olympic middle-distance runner Jenny Meadows.
The Wigan-born lass, who has grown up and trained in the town all her life, was delighted to see that it is set to travel through a part of the borough which is particularly close to her heart.
She told the Evening Post: “It’s going through Abram, the village where I’ve lived all my life, apart from three years.
“It’s really nice for me that an historic thing like the Olympic torch gets to come through Abram, it’s absolutely amazing.
“Everybody has a chance to get involved in it, it really allows everyone to feel that Olympic spirit.”
The 30-year-old has spoken of her excitement not only for the Games, but the enthusiasm and excitement that is swirling through the town.
She couldn’t believe her luck when London was announced in 2005 as the host for the 2012 games.
Despite knowing that a lot of work was needed to ensure her place, she realised how lucky she was to have the chance to compete in the Olympics in her home country.
“It’s something you dream of,” she added. “I’ve been a member of Wigan Harriers since I was seven.
“When I was seven, I was very ambitious and said to the coach: ‘I want to go to the Olympic Games – which was a bold statement!
“He didn’t laugh at me, and I got to do that four years ago in Beijing but just to be at a home Olympic Games – it’s something that every athlete dreams will happen in their lifetime, and a very small percentage of people can actually experience.
“I’ll definitely be a proud Wiganer come August.
“You speak to Olympic legends such as Sally Gunnell, Colin Jackson, Linford Christie and they’re so envious of this current crop who get the actual chance to do that.
“Of course, sometimes I feel it’s quite a lot of pressure and I sometimes think ‘Oh I wish it wasn’t in London’ as everyone is so aware of it, but to get that opportunity literally ins once in a lifetime and very fortunate.”
Jenny praised the facilities there are at her disposal in Wigan with the new Life Centre opened in January. “They’re absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“I’ve got Robin Park just down the road from here where I train and prior to that, the first facility at Robin Park was world class in itself and they knocked it down to make an even better facility.
“And the DW Stadium houses two brilliant football and rugby teams – it’s absolutely fantastic.”