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

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?