Olympic torch bearing honour for teenager

Glenrothes Olympic Torch bearer -David Hilton with mum Jill Collings.
Glenrothes Olympic Torch bearer -David Hilton with mum Jill Collings.

A FORMER teenage cancer sufferer from Glenrothes has been given the honour of carrying the Olympic flame when it travels through Fife in two weeks time reports, NEIL HENDERSON.

Student David Hilton (20) is amongst 23 Fifer’s and the new town’s sole representative to take part in the prestigious 8,000 mile journey around the UK as the country prepares to host the 2012 Olympic games.

At the age of 17, David survived three brain tumours and since his recovery has devoted most of his spare time outside of his studying at Dundee University to helping other come to terms with similar ordeals.

He is now Fife’s youth representative speaker for MacMillan Cancer Support and is devoted to raising money and spreading the word about how the charity can help those fighting cancer.

David is set to carry the Olympic flame for the one mile distance allotted for all torch bearers on June 13 in Cairneyhill, a small village three miles west of Dunfermline.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was told I’d been chosen out of all the many thousands of nominees, what an honour, it’s a once in a lifetime event and I’ll play a part in that which is fantastic.”

Knowing about the honour and yet having to keep it under wraps for several months has proved a difficult ask for mum Jill Collings.

She explained: “Having found out about David being chosen as on of the torch bearers back in March was brilliant but not being able to tell anyone at all until now has been a nightmare.

“I spend half my life on Facebook these days and am really proud of the fact that my son has been chosen, I was so desperate to tell everyone, I nearly let the cat out of the bag, but just about managed to keep it a secret” laughed Jill.

David is yet to acquire his unique torch bearers Olympic uniform and all important golden torch, which he doesn’t receive until the day of his involvement.

He is however already adamant he won’t be one of those getting involved in the current media storm over those offering Olympic torches up for auction on internet sites such as Ebay.

He said: “I’ve been talking about that with friends over the last couple of days and with it being a real once in a lifetime event and a great honour for me, my feelings at the moment are that I’d actually like to keep it as a souvenir.

“I don’t think I’d want to sell the torch, it would be a unique memento to look back on in years to come.”

All of the Olympic flame carriers have had to pay £215 for the torch which they get to keep and David is especially thankful to his mum’s friends and work colleagues who had a collection to raise the necessary funding.

And there’s no stopping the 20-year-old who last weekend completed the Edinburgh half marathon in searing heat.

“It’s good training ready for the torch relay but it was hard work, I’m sure the mile with the Olympic flame will be easier” laughed David.