John Amaechi OBE has been chosen to raise the Olympic Torch to new heights on Saturday morning GMT, 21 July 2012. With only one week to go to the start of the London 2012 Games, he will be bringing the Olympic Torch to the top of the Greenwich Arena where he will share the torch transfer moment, affectionately called a “torch kiss” with former Olympic gymnastics superstar, Nadia Komonich at the apex of the roof, looking down over the Olympic Park and the city of London.
The invitation to bear the torch commented that John had been “…chosen for this moment due to (his) inspirational achievements in basketball and in life, and the North Greenwich Arena chosen as it is the venue for basketball during the London 2012 Olympic Games”
On hearing the news, John said, “It’s an honour to be deemed worthy to carry the torch in company with the other torch bearers who are all standouts in their communities. I think of the Olympic torch as one of the pure and unwavering symbols of the true tenets of the Olympic games and to carry it and then share a torch ‘kiss’ with someone as emblematic of perfection in their art as Nadia Comăneci with be a memory I savour forever.”
This for a man who’s career took place in the USA but never forgot his homeland and returned to invest not only his time and knowledge but his earnings in helping young people.