Kickboxer Joe Axcell, 12, to carry Olympic Torch through Grimsby
GRIMSBY'S very own 12-year-old world champion kickboxer has been selected to carry the Olympic Torch through his hometown.
Joe Axcell, a member of Grimsby Freestyle Kickboxing Club, was nominated for the honour by his teachers at Oasis Academy Wintringham.
As reported, Joe and four other members of the club were crowned world champions at the World Martial Arts Games in Cardiff last year, after fending off opposition from England, Ireland, Wales, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Mexico, Italy and Portugal.
Joe will carry the Torch through Grimsby on June 26 when it visits North East Lincolnshire as part of its iconic journey around the UK.
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"It is absolutely amazing to think that I will be carrying the Olympic Torch – it is something that you would never think you would be able to do," he said.
"When I heard that I had been selected to do it, I couldn't believe it. I was really, really shocked.
"It will be an honour to carry the torch in Grimsby. I am the only person I know who is doing it so I know I am really lucky.
"I started my kickboxing when I was about eight and I have always really enjoyed it.
"I defend my world title in August so with that and the Olympic Torch relay, I know I've got a really busy year coming up. All eyes are going to be on me!"
Mum Louise, 33, said: "We were really shocked when we heard that the school had nominated Joe. It was lovely that they thought of him.
"We are all so proud of him and we will all be there to cheer him along on the day.
"My dad is coming across from Spain especially to see him so he will have a lot of support."
Dad Terry, 34, said: "It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"He will be one of only a select few people in the world who will ever get the opportunity to hold that Torch – it is just incredible."
Jane Bowman, Joe's principal, said: "We chose Joe because he has reached such a high standard at such a young age so he was an obvious choice.
"He is a really nice student who is very humble about his achievements.
"Carrying the Olympic Torch will be a huge honour for Joe and we are so pleased for him that he will be able to take part.
"There is a lot of excitement surround the Olympic games and for him to be involved with it is just phenomenal."
Have you been selected to carry the Olympic Torch, or are you doing something special to celebrate the games? Call the newsroom on 01472 372236 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org