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Inspirational Matt honoured as an Olympic torchbearer

29 December 2011

Times & Citizen
29 December 2011

A former rugby player who was paralysed from the neck down in an accident has been selected as an Olympic torchbearer.

Matt King, who suffered a broken neck while playing for the London Broncos Under 18s side seven years ago, will help to carry the Olympic torch between Bedford and Cambridge next July.

Matt, 24, who now lives in The Wixams, was nominated by his grandfather Peter Kay. The London 2012 organising committee asked the public to nominate would-be torchbearers who have been an inspiration to others. There were just 2,012 places available and Matt was selected from more than 20,000 nominees.

Matt works as a trainee solicitor after finishing his A-levels and gaining a law degree and postgraduate qualification from the University of Hertfordshire. He said: "The Olympics will be such a massive event for the whole country and it will be a real honour to carry the torch during the relay. I was delighted to be asked and it will be a landmark day for me."

Matt, originally from Langford, is philosphical about the accident and believes that it has created opportunities for him that might not have come about otherwise. He said: "Although my life has been different I am following a career that I enjoy and I can still do most of the things that I could do before. When you play rugby you do so with the knowledge that very bad accidents do occasionally happen, though you always tend to think that they happen to other people. I still love the sport and I am a
Bedford Blues season ticketholder."

Matt uses voice recognition software at work to write emails and use other programmes at the London based Stewarts Law firm.

He has an active social life and enjoys regular holidays abroad.

He said: "My life has taken a different path to what it would have done. But it's not better or worse just different."

"After the accident I obviously couldn' t do a physical job but that turned my attention to law which is a profession I might not have considered otherwise."

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