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Rick: Nothing beats the Olympics

Published: 12 Jun 2012 09:300 comments

FEW torch bearers will be able to match Rick Kenney when it comes to experience.

Rick with Galashiels-born football star John Collins.

The 60-year-old former sports development officer from Galashiels has not only been involved at two previous Olympic Games but has also taken part in a previous nationwide relay.

But he admits, despite all of his previous achievements, carrying the Olympic Flame through Peebles next week will top them all.

Rick was nominated to carry the Torch by officials from the world of judo - a sport he's been involved with as a player, referee, coach and then chairman of the national body in Scotland for 47 years.

He told us: "I was absolutely delighted when I found out I had been nominated to carry the Olympic Torch. It was one of those secrets I really struggled to keep.

"I was part of the Commonwealth Games baton relay before Manchester when it came through Glasgow - and there were thousands out on the streets that day - but this will be bigger, much bigger. Nothing beats the Olympics."

During his competitive career Rick reached 7th Dan in the sport he's loved since a boy. And his broad knowledge of judo led to him being appointed Great Britain team manager for the Athens Olympics and also as an official at the Sydney Games.

He has also been involved at five Commonwealth Games in different coaching and managerial capacities - and he will be an eager spectator during competition in London.

Next Thursday many friends and fellow judo enthusiasts will join his wife, Helen, to watch the pensioner carry the flame through Peebles. Rick added: "It will be a very proud moment for me - I'm just praying that it will be a fine day and not pouring with rain.

"It is tremendous that the route is passing through the Borders and I hope lots of people come out to witness the historic occasion."

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