Divert Olympic Torch to honour Guisborough pioneer Olympian

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, is writing to sports ministers and the British Olympic Organising Committee to ask if the local route for the Olympic Torch relay could be altered so that a pioneer Guisborough Olympic athlete could be honoured.

Tom said today “I am asking for the torch relay in Redcar and Cleveland to be slightly altered to honour Willie Applegarth. Willie was a pioneer British athlete who was born and lived in Guisborough. In 1912 he was one of the British team at the Stockholm Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the 200 metre event, and winning Gold in the 4 X 100 relay. Later on he became a world record holder in the 200 metre distance race.”

“He was a man who helped build Britain’s base in world athletics and at the, then, new Olympics. Given that next year’s London Olympics will be the centenary year of his own Olympic triumph i feel it is only proper that the torch is borne through his home town.”

“I am writing to both Sports Ministers and the London Olympics Organising Committee to propose that on the local leg of the torch relay, the torch runs from Redcar to Guisborough and from there back to Marske on the original route. This will both honour Willie and make sure no town on the existing route loses out.”

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