Wales' Olympic torch bearers tell their stories

As Wales prepares to welcome the Olympic torch relay on Friday 25 May, BBC Wales has spoken to some of those chosen to carry the torch to hear their stories.

Horse breeder Eric Davies from Lampeter will hold the torch aboard his Welsh cob, Maesmynach Angerdd, as the torch travels through the town of Aberaeron, Ceredigion.

The 12-year-old cob has taken part in many events and won a number of performance medals.

Ann Davies, from St Davids in Pembrokeshire, will be torch-bearing in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

Ms Davies was born deaf and blind, and cannot speak, and her rehabilitation officer and a communicator tell her story.

When the torch arrives Cardiff on its first day in Wales, local girl Melanie Stephenson will be carrying it past Cardiff Castle.

The athlete, who has been capped for Wales, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 13, and took up athletics initially as a way to help control her condition.

She was nominated to carry the torch following years of voluntary work with the charity Diabetes UK.

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Media captionAnn Davies, who was born deaf and blind and cannot speak, will carry the torch in Haverfordwest

She also says she hopes to show other people with diabetes what they can achieve in relation to sport.

Another torch bearer running in Cardiff has made the trip from Chile, where his determination to overcome losing both legs has made him a national inspiration at home.

Kevin Silva, now 16, was invited to take part in the torch relay after Chile's national broadcaster got in touch with organisers.

Kevin is now walking with artificial legs just a year after the accident which forced doctors to amputate.

Around 600 runners will take part in the relay over Welsh soil.

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Media captionTorch bearer Hazel Cave from Raglan is to run part of the London 2012 relay race through Monmouth

The Olympic torch will make its way over the Welsh border on Friday as it crosses into Monmouth for the start of a six-day journey through the nation.

Hazel Cave from Raglan is looking forward to carrying the flame through Monmouth, cheered on by family and friends.

A regular marathon runner, she was nominated by her sister for her work with youth groups and the fact that, despite recently completing treatment for breast cancer, she has continued helping with her local church and community groups.

As the flame goes west through Bridgend, Jak Powles, whose sight and mobility were affected after a bicycle accident seven years ago, will carry the torch aided by his guide dog Vance.

Mr Powles, 22, said he had been working hard in the gym on his movement and fitness in order to be able to run some of the stretch.

A keen rugby player as a teenager, he spent five-and-a-half months in hospital after he was knocked off his bike while cycling to school aged 15, and lost most of his vision as well as the use of his left leg and arm for a long time.

The flame will also travel to Swansea and that will be a special day for the oldest torch bearer on the Welsh leg of the journey.

Betty Gray MBE, 91, has been playing table tennis for 70 years and earned more than 250 caps for representing Wales.

On Saturday, Danielle Russell, 12, from Merthyr Tydfil is carrying the Olympic flame through Treherbert after being nominated for her work as a carer for her uncle who has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

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Media captionDanielle Russell, 12, from Merthyr Tydfil, is carrying the Olympic flame through Treherbert

On Sunday Richie Denyer, 60, from Aberystwyth, nominated for being an inspiration to others, takes part in the relay through Brynhoffnant, Ceredigion, where his mother went to school.

He suffered a stroke while riding a motorbike and was severely injured, becoming disabled.

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Media captionRichie Denyer, 60, from Aberystwyth, is carrying the Olympic flame through Brynhoffnant

He had to relearn all basic skills and then took up sailing becoming an instructor to help disabled people to learn.

BBC Wales will be providing extensive coverage of the progress of the torch on its websites, radio and TV.

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