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'Blind Dave' Heeley given Paralympics opening ceremony role

Category: England

Published: 17th Aug 2012 16:54:52

A blind marathon runner from the West Midlands has been selected to take part in the Paralympic Opening Ceremony.

Dave Heeley, 54, known as Blind Dave, from West Bromwich said he did not know exactly what his role would be but that he was "flattered" to be involved.

He said: "It's all very cloak and dagger but knowing my luck I'll probably end up selling ice creams."

In 2008, he became the first blind person to complete seven marathons, in seven days, on seven continents.

In May, he carried the Olympic flame in Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent as part of the London 2012 torch relay.

He was not chosen to be a torchbearer in the first round of the selection process, but supporters in the West Midlands launched a campaign for him to be part of the relay.

Mr Heeley said: "The last eight years of my life has been unbelievable but taking part in the Paralympics opening ceremony will be the icing on the cake.

"After the atmosphere of the Olympics I know it's definitely going to be something special and it's a once in a lifetime thing, it's never going to happen again in my life."

Organisers of the Paralympic Games opening ceremony revealed in May that it would be called Enlightenment.

They said the event would showcase the skills of disabled artists and would also involve 3,000 adult volunteers, including injured soldiers and past Paralympic athletes.

The Paralympic opening ceremony will begin at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford at 20:30 BST on 29 August.

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BBC News, 2012. 'Blind Dave' Heeley given Paralympics opening ceremony role [Online] (Updated 17th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1446865/Blind-Dave-Heeley-given-Paralympics-opening-ceremony-role [Accessed 21st Aug 2014]

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