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?
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Sport
Ross Barkley
footballPaul Scholes says it's time for the Everton playmaker to step up and seize the England No 10 shirt
News
'We will fix it': mice in the 1970s children’s programme Bagpuss
science
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?