A double celebration as Olympic veteran prepares to light Marlborough’ own flame

Written by Gerald Isaaman on .

William Copp receiving the flame from Michael Johnson in SalisburyWilliam Copp receiving the flame from Michael Johnson in SalisburyIt’s a once in a life-time occasion.  And tonight you can enjoy the launch of the 2012 Olympic Games in the iconic new London stadium virtually twice over.

The big event is expected to be seen by a billion people round the world when TV zooms in at 9pm – but four hours earlier you can see the symbolic Olympic torch lit here in Marlborough.

The annual Summer School, now encamped at Marlborough College with 1,200 students from all over the country, is making the Olympics the focus of its traditional Friday exhibition.

There will be a children's parade led by William Copp, the 17-year-old wheelchair user from St John’s School, who played his own historic part in the flame’s epic tour of the country a fortnight ago.

He was chosen to meet up with Michael Johnson, the American gold medal 400 metres runner, in Salisbury after Johnson made a daybreak tour of Stonehenge with the flame.

This time William  will pass the torch over to double Olympian Mark Pharoah, now 81, who competed in the discus for Britain at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki and the 1956 Games in Melbourne, where he came fourth, missing a medal by just 13cms.

Mark, who is a regular course-taker at the Summer School, will light the flame at 5pm.

“Following the lighting of the Olympic flame there will be a display of dance, music, art and crafts from a number of the Summer School classes,” Summer School director Jon Copp told Marlborough News Online.

“The event will start at 4.30pm and run until 6.00pm – and everyone in town is  welcome to join in the fun on what is going to be a memorable day for so many.”

“During the two weeks of the Olympic competition the Summer School will be showing all the