Former Olympian Frank in running to carry the torch

Former Olympic weight lifter Frank Rothwell, Wainscotte Close, Old Town.
Former Olympic weight lifter Frank Rothwell, Wainscotte Close, Old Town.
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A CHAMPION weightlifter could make a return to the Olympics 40 years on - if his nomination to carry the Olympic flame is succesful.

Frank Rothwell, who lives in Hebden Bridge, was nominated by the Halifax and District Irish Society as one of the hopefuls to carry the flame on its journey around the UK in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics.

He is a former Yorkshire and English champion and represented Ireland at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

He said he was honoured by the nomination. “If it comes off, it’ll be good,” said the low-key 75 year-old.

Frank, who represented Ireland in the 1972 games and was both a Yorkshire and Irish champion, was put forward after the Federation of Irish Societies contacted their members inviting nominations.

“It’d be a great boost for the Irish community in Halifax as we’re dwindling a bit now,” he said.

“Forty years after competing in the Olympic games in Munich, it would be a great honour to be part of the 2012 Olympics of London by being one of the torchbearers,” said Mr Rothwell.

He is still heavily involved in local sport and also runs a You Tube channel with more than 1,000 subscribers to learn about weight lifting.

He moved to England in January 1956, and the following year made the move to Hebden Bridge.

Chairman of the Irish Society Michael Snee who put Frank forward said: “He’s done a lot of work in the community here and in particular for young people for introducing them to weight lifting and teaching them about having a clean mind and clean body. “He’s dedicated his life to weight lifting.”

More than 8,000 torchbearers will carry the flame on its 70 day journey around the country. The primary route has been published but more details of more towns the torch will travel through will be released.