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Crowds cheer as 100-year-old carries Olympic Torch in Hendon
Crowds gathered in Hendon earlier today to see one of the oldest of the 8,000 torchbearers carry the Olympic Flame.
The sun shone, flags were waved and people cheered as 100-year-old Diana Gould took the torch along The Burroughs to Middlesex University, where it stopped for lunch.
At the university Ms Gould, a former seamstress, was greeted by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Brian Schama and Middlesex University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Driscoll.
Ms Gould, who lives in Kenton, was nominated by one of her grandchildren. The torchbearer was born in 1912 in the same month that the Stockholm Games started.
She runs exercise classes in the retirement flats where she lives and three times a week sits with a group of friends stretching, reaching and bending to stay flexible and healthy.
Her granddaughter, Alexandra, said: “She’s been an active person all her life and doesn’t let her age stop her now.
“She runs exercise classes in the retirement flats where she lives which are a great favourite with her neighbours; it is a sociable way for the neighbours to get to know each other.”
Ms Gould practiced for her 300-yard stretch of the torch relay by carrying a candlestick around the corridors of her nursing home.
Rangers from the Seventh Mill Hill District were in Hendon to welcome the torch.
Francesca Storey, 15, a member of the group, said: "It's a really good atmosphere and a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"The 100-year-old torchbearer was very good - she was always waving and always smiling."
Eileen Caton from Mill Hill waved and cheered with her daughter Sarah O'Donnell and her grandson, nine-year-old Taylor O'Donnell.
She said: "I brought my grandson along today to see the torch - it will go in his memory bank forever now.
"Seeing the torch was awesome. The atmosphere is absolutely terrific - just brilliant."
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