JULY 14 - STAN COX (pictured), who ran against Emil Zatopek in the 1948 Olympics in London, has appealed to officials to give him a leading role in the celebrations when the Games return to Britain in 2012.


Cox, who turns 90 tomorrow, has said that if they let him he would like to light the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony in London on July 27, a job for which Dame Kelly Holmes has been lobbying shamelessly since the Capital was awarded the Games three years ago.


Cox was seventh in the 10,000 metres in 1948, a race won by the Zatopek, one of four Olympic gold medals the Czech was to win during his career.


Cox was later told he should have been given fifth place as he had run an extra lap because the officials had been confused by Zatopek overtaking everyone.


Cox told today's edition of the Ipswich Evening Star: "It is my dearest wish to be involved in some way in 2012 - I will be 94 by then but as long as I am still fit and active, I would love to take part in the ceremony.

“To be able to carry the torch some of the way in the stadium, be one of the bearers to hand it to the person who lights the flame, or even to light it, would be wonderful, just superb.

“We will have to wait and see what happens but I am just hoping it will be possible."


Cox, who also ran for Britain in the marathon in the 1952 Olympics, another event won by Zatopek, is still active and regularly walks several miles a day.


The Felixstowe resident said: “I am 90 and I feel fine.


"I exercise every day - I usually walk the length of the prom and back, which is about four miles or so, whatever the weather.”

Cox's memories of 1948 is that the Games are a total contrast to what they are today.


He said: "Things were very different in 1948 and athletes were expected to contribute to their own expenses.


“I had to take a day out of my holidays to complete my run and then it was back to work - so I didn't even see the rest of the Games.


"As there was food rationing, however, I was allowed an extra pint of milk a day to help build up my strength.”


The full article can be read at http://www.eveningstar.co.uk/content/eveningstar/news/story.aspx?brand=ESTOnline&category=News&tBrand=ESTOnline&tCategory=News&itemid=IPED14 Jul 2008 13:21:46:560.