Bromsgrove schoolgirl runs two Olympic torch legs

By Carl Jackson 25/05 Updated: 25/05 18:42

A SOUTH BROMSGROVE School pupil completed a double leg of the Olympic torch relay yesterday (Thursday), making her family, who were watching on, twice as proud.

Eleanor Smallwood, 15, who lives in the Forelands, only found out in the morning upon arriving in Gloucester where she was due to carry the iconcic flame that another runner had been forced to pull out.

She was more than happy to go the extra distance and dad Stephen ran along camera-in-hand from the sidelines for the full 600 metres.

Eleanor said: "It was a real honour to carry the torch.

"It was a once in a life time opportunity and I wish I could do it all again."

Stephen said: "I felt very proud for Eleanor and pleased that so many people turned out first thing in the morning to cheer her on."

The Standard spoke to Eleanor in March after learning she had been nominated to carry the torch by her mum Susan for her voluntary work as a Youth Ambassador and Adi-star - encouraging children to take up sport.

Susan said: "It was so emotional.

"To actually be there and experience it was absolutely brilliant.

"And for Eleanor to be in a place with lots of police, big crowds where she didn't know anybody.

"She was really confident and did very well."

A total of 8,000 people are set to carry the flame during its 70-day tour, however Zara Phillips MBE - duaghter of Anne, Princess Royal - was so inspired by Eleanor in particular that she invited her down to meet her in Newbury on Tuesday.

Her South Bromsgrove classmates watched Eleanor run via the live internet feed back home before she joined them back at school yesterday afternoon after completing her double leg in the morning.

Susan added: "She went from star celeb to normal schoolgirl.

"She's an un-sung hero who doesn't seek the limelight.

"Eleanor is a credit to her family, school and town. We're so proud."

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