Woman's bid to carry Olympic flame

A WOMAN who swam for Suffolk is bidding to become one of eight foreigners selected to carry the Olympic flame on its way through China to Beijing.Barbara Woodward, who grew up in Stowmarket, hopes to make the final shortlist of 100 from which the lucky eight will be selected.

A WOMAN who swam for Suffolk is bidding to become one of eight foreigners selected to carry the Olympic flame on its way through China to Beijing.

Barbara Woodward, who grew up in Stowmarket, hopes to make the final shortlist of 100 from which the lucky eight will be selected.

Ms Woodward, who is currently Britain's Deputy Ambassador in China where she has been living since 2003, said: “Britain's ties with China are at their best ever levels and the opportunity to carry the Olympic flame on its way to the stadium would be a dream come true. I have been keen on sport all my life.”

Ms Woodward learnt to swim in Stowmarket and was a regular member of the town's swim team from the age of six. She first swam for Suffolk aged 11 and continued to do so into her early 20s.

She realised her ambition to swim the channel in 1994, participating in a relay crossing with five friends.

She has since run the London Marathon and has been a regular competitor at triathlon events and is currently training for the Beijing half marathon, running in aid of a Chinese charity that finds foster parents for orphans.

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You can vote to support Ms Woodward's bid on line by logging on to http://pub1.chinadaily.com.cn/olympics/torch/members.shtml?mid=303

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