Olympic torch relay a ‘privilege and honour’ for artist Keith Jansz

Mouth and foot painting artist, Keith Jansz, receiving the Olympic torch from Mexican footballer (plays for Mexico City and Mexico, and is a two times past Olympian) and charity worker Gerado Torrado.
Mouth and foot painting artist, Keith Jansz, receiving the Olympic torch from Mexican footballer (plays for Mexico City and Mexico, and is a two times past Olympian) and charity worker Gerado Torrado.
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Mouth and foot painting artist, Keith Jansz, had the experience of a lifetime when he carried the Olympic torch in Stoke Mandeville on Monday.

Mr Jansz received the flame from Mexican footballer and charity worker, Gerardo Torrado.

Mr Jansz, who was paralysed in a car accident in 1995, said: “What a day to remember. I had a fabulous day seeing so many happy and joyous faces cheering me on.

“It was such a privilege and honour to carry the flame and amazing to be the centre of attention, just incredible!”

A special wheelchair was made for Mr Jansz by Mike Spindle, of Trekinetic, in Hemel Hempstead, in white to fit in with the white and gold Olympic theme.

The chair included an attachment to hold the Olympic torch and had special white walled ‘Badass’ brand tyres imported from California.

Mr Spindle used to work in Formula 1, but after seeing a teenager in an old wheelchair, felt he could do better and used his car design background to bring new technology to wheelchairs.

Due to its all terrain capabilities, the company’s wheelchairs have been exported to other parts of the world including Australia and New Zealand as well as to some Native Americans living on a reservation.

>> Other people carrying the torch on Monday included 13-year-old Buckingham resident Annie Jankowiak, who carried the flame in Bletchley.

Her nomination story said: “We all started secondary school 10 months ago and Annie has made it fun for us all.

“Despite Annie having a ganglion in her knee which affects her hamstring she could run for her life and she does. She takes part in lots of competitions, usually 800m, and does really well.

“Overall Annie is a really nice, kind and energetic girl, who loves sport and dreams to become an athlete.”

Colin Bycroft, from Towcester, also carried the flame through Bletchley, and was nominated for his fundraising work.

Chris Bream, from Bicester, carried the torch through Oxford on Tuesday, while Patrick Burnes, 25, also from Bicester, carried the torch through Wallingford.