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Bexley prepares for the big day with Olympic 100 day countdown

10:58 18 April 2012

Cllr Teresa O'Neill (centre) with torchbearers Aaron Reynolds, 18, and Sarah-Louise Casey, 26

Cllr Teresa O'Neill (centre) with torchbearers Aaron Reynolds, 18, and Sarah-Louise Casey, 26

Archant

It is 100 days today until the Olympics and Bexley is preparing for the party of a lifetime.

Olympic weightlifting hopeful Zoe Smith, who lives in Abbey Wood and went to school at Tonwley Grammar in Bexleyheath, is relishing the opportunity of competing so close to home.

The 17-year-old said: “It’s going to be a very surreal but enjoyable experience in front of the British support.

“I’ve lived in Greenwich all my life and it’s only a hop over the Thames to the ExCel Arena, where the weightlifting is taking place”

Council leader Teresa O’Neill said: “Bexley is ready to play our part in the greatest show on earth.

“A lot of behind the scenes hard work has been going on to prepare for the Olympic flame to come through the borough on July 22.

“We have been working on plans not only for the route but for the evening celebration that will see up to 20,000 people descend on Danson Park to welcome the flame at the end of the day.”

The torch relay comes through the borough on July 22, just five days before the start of the Games.

There will be 28 people carrying the torch from Erith Yacht Club to Danson Park.

One of them is 91-year-old Ken Owen, who said: “I’m very pleased that I can support the Olympics and my country.

“I’m delighted to be carrying the torch in my local area because I have such a big affiliation here.”

Most of the schools in Bexley have received tickets to events through the Get Set Network, with 3,196 going to children across the borough.

The newly-built Europa Centre in Crayford will be used as a training camp for all Olympic volleyball teams for the duration of the Games.

The gym will also be benftting from Olympic legacy payments, as will Erith Yacht Club and Danson Park Bowls Consortium among others.

For the more in-depth interview with Zoe Smith see this week’s Bexley Times, out tomorrow.

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