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Hands on: Shannon worker becomes unexpected Olympic torchbearer

The torch made an unscheduled stop at Shannon Airport yesterday.

Duty manager Natasha Naughton-O'Keefe holds the precious cargo at Shannon Airport
Duty manager Natasha Naughton-O'Keefe holds the precious cargo at Shannon Airport

A DUTY MANAGER at Shannon airport had the unexpected honour of becoming an Olympic torchbearer after getting her hands on the torch six weeks ahead of schedule.

The plane carrying the precious cargo made an unscheduled stop at Shannon airport yesterday evening when the flight from Orlando to London Heathrow diverted to Shannon for refuelling.

Duty manager Natasha Naughton-O’Keefe’s evening shift was given a boost when she become one of the first at the airport to hold the torch while it was being transferred from to a scheduled service from Shannon to Heathrow.

It will be returning to Ireland on 6 June for a brief visit to Dublin, and Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan has been named as one of the official bearers. Barcelona ’92 medallists Michael Carruth and Wayne McCullough will be involved in the symbolic border crossing in Newry.

Naughton-O’Keefe meanwhile said that when the “whole world will be looking at the Olympic torch on the opening night of the games in London in July I’ll be able to say I carried it too”.

Dress rehearsal for Olympic torch underway as Dublin date awaits>

Olympic torch has ‘deep meaning’ for any athlete, says delighted O’Sullivan>

Read more about the London 2012 Olympics>

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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