OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY: University switches exam so swimmer can carry the flame
SYNCHRONISED swimmer Issy Collings had little time to celebrate carrying the Olympic flame on May 23 - having to dash off to take a university exam.
The Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation student put the champagne on ice and made the 45-minute car journey to Bristol, where she attends the University of the West of England, in order to perform a practical assessment as part of her degree. Her lecturer had switched the start of the exam to accommodate the synchronised swimmer's run through Calne after she was selected as one of just 8,000 torchbearers courtesy of Lloyds TSB.
And the 19-year-old former Hardenhuish School pupil insists she will always be grateful for getting the chance to carry the Flame - and for having passed her exam in extenuating circumstances.
"My lecturer was really kind to move my exam from the beginning to the end of the day to allow me to run with the Flame," said Collings, who originally hails from Christian Malford, in Witshire. "It was really difficult in the practical to explain how an injury should be treated, because I was on such a high before but I've recently found out I passed my exams, which is great.
"Carrying the Torch was an absolutely amazing experience, especially as it was only five days into the relay. I've only just about come back down from the excitement of it all. But I'm actually now going into schools to talk about it and let local people see the torch and have their photos taken with it.
"I'm trying to raise money for two charities, one for a children's cancer charity and one to help people with Crohn's disease because one of my coaches suffers from it."
At the British Gas Synchronised Swimming Championships in March Collings medalled in all the events she was entered for, including a bronze in the solo free finals. But the Bristol Central swimmer, who also benefits from being on the Lloyds TSB Local Hero scheme, had to go through the pain barrier in search of success in Gloucester and the persistent injury means she may have to go under the knife.
"I've damaged some of the cartilage which holds my hip together," she explained. "I did it over-training doing this special treading water technique called ‘egg beating'. I've had it for six months now and I might be having surgery in the next few months. As a result my training has taken a back seat but it's something I need to sort out."
As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the excitement of the Games and Olympic Flame closer to you. Find out what we¹re doing in your community and who is carrying the Flame at lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame