Marathon man Moon, hero of the Yukino

Diana's place at the Games is filled by light
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The Independent Online
CHRIS MOON, the disabled British anti-landmine activist, played a part in the Winter Olympics opening ceremony yesterday - in a role that the Princess of Wales would have performed, according to organisers.

Diana had agreed only a few weeks before she died to be a torch-bearer and possibly to make a peace appeal, according to a high-ranking source in the Nagano organising committee.

Mr Moon, who had worked closely with Diana on the campaign, received one of the biggest cheers of the ceremony when he bore the torch into the stadium, surrounded by Japanese children.

"I hadn't heard about the arrangement," Mr Moon said, "but I was thinking of the Princess out there. Someone like Diana was a figurehead for this cause in a way no one else could be."

Mr Moon lost part of his right leg and left arm while attempting to defuse a landmine. Within a year, he had run in the London Marathon and has completed the Desert Marathon. "This has to be the most moving run I have ever completed," he said. "I felt privileged to be involved."

He added that his father, a war veteran who served in Asia during the Second World War, had been especially keen for him to take part. "He saw it as a gesture of peace and reconciliation."

Mr Moon said: "Five years ago I was working in a remote village in Cambodia clearing landmines and thinking nobody was really noticing what I was doing. To be able to bring attention to the cause in this way is unbelievable."

He later joined forces with Canada's foreign minister, Lloyd Axworthy, in calling for people around the world to put pressure on politicians to ratify the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines.

Winter Olympics, Section 2, page 16