Two billion eyes on Callum

The Olympic torch is carried by seven young athletes during the London Olympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London.
The Olympic torch is carried by seven young athletes during the London Olympic Games 2012 Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London.

ONLY minutes into his 18th year, Earlston High School pupil Callum Airlie performed an honour previously reserved for the most elite sportsmen and women in the world.

For at 12.28am on Saturday, the Westruther sailor, pictured right, carrying the torch, lit the beacon that signalled the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games. The remainder of his 17th birthday went past in a blur.

Currently representing Britain in the 420 World Championships in Austria, Airlie was one of seven athletes, chosen for their achievements in their individual sports, to take the starring roles at Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening extravaganza last Friday night.

After receiving the torch, from legendary rower Sir Steve Redgrave just after midnight, the youths ran a circuit of the track before igniting the spectacular beacon which will remain alight until the closing ceremony next weekend.

Airlie was nominated for the task by gold medal-winning sailor Shirley Robertson and travelled to London with his mum Dr Julie Robson after being sworn to secrecy by Boyle and his team.

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