Michael Johnson lights up Stone Henge with Olympic Torch

 

One of the world's greatest ever athletes carried the Olympic Torch around Stonehenge at sunrise today.

Michael Johnson, the 400m world record holder and Olympic gold medallist, paraded the flame at the World Heritage Site at a special dawn event before he ran the first leg of day 55 of the relay around Britain.

Speaking after jogging around Stonehenge, Johnson said: "It was amazing. It was a great experience to carry the torch around the iconic Stonehenge.

"It was amazing, unbelievable.

"I don't rank. It's all great. This is great; winning an Olympic gold medal is great.

"Life is great for me. This was incredible, just a really incredible, magic moment."

Johnson, 44, who won four Olympic gold medals and holds the world and Olympic records in the 400m and 4 x 400m relay, said he was looking forward to London 2012.

"It should be a great Games. The Olympics is always phenomenal," he said.

"The competition on the track should take care of itself and I think London will do a great job of hosting the Games."

At Stonehenge Johnson posed with university student Amelia Clifford, who ran with the torch yesterday in The Winterbournes, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Amelia, known as Millie, is a promising young 400m and 400m hurdles athlete.

The 19-year-old, from Salisbury, who is studying politics at Birmingham University, said it was a dream come true to meet her hero.

"It was amazing. It is such a pretty setting and I'm carrying the Olympic Torch for the second time at Stonehenge with Michael Johnson," she said.

"It was phenomenal and to get a second chance with a hero of mine ... it is such a good event and I am honoured to be part of it."

Amelia, who has represented Great Britain at junior level, said Johnson had passed on tips for reaching the top.

"I was meeting one of my idols - someone who still holds a world record ... you see him on the TV all the time and to actually have a conversation with him is phenomenal," she said.

"He talked about training hard and keeping your head down and that's definitely advice I will take away.

"He's inspired me anyway and now I've met him I just want to keep pushing and pushing and succeeding."

After Johnson ran today's first leg at Salisbury Cathedral he handed the torch to sixth form student William Copp, 17, who uses a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
news
News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
books...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower