Wales

London 2012: Aidan Reynolds' opening ceremony honour

The family of a teenager nominated by Welsh gold medallist Lynn Davies to light the Olympic cauldron had no idea of his role until they saw him on TV.

Aidan Reynolds, 18, was one of seven young athletes picked for the honour at Friday's opening ceremony in London.

His Welsh mother Teresa said the family in Telford, Shropshire, screamed at the TV when they realised, as he had been sworn to secrecy.

Aidan played basketball for Wales before concentrating on the javelin.

Mrs Reynolds, who was born in Sarnau, Powys, said they had thought beforehand that he might be performing as an "angel" on a bike.

His grandparents had thought they had missed him and went to bed, and watched it on Saturday morning.

Aidan, who has won three medals at English Schools, UK School Games and English championships, was put forward by Nantymoel-born Lynn "the leap" Davies, who won gold at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

Mrs Reynolds, who was brought up in Sarnau, where the rest of her family still live, and attended Welshpool High School, said she had not yet had a chance to speak to her family in Wales. But the night at her home turned into quite a celebration.

His sister, Amelia, 20, plays basketball for Wales, and she was in the opening ceremony crowd as his guest.

"When he first got the phone call to ring his coach about the Olympics we thought it was a spoof," said Mrs Reynolds.

"Then he went down to London and it was like he'd signed the Official Secrets Act almost, as he was not allowed to tell us anything, but he said it would be a surprise.

"We never dreamed he would be lighting the cauldron, though. We thought he would be one of the angels on the bikes."

The family were glued to the TV all evening, but both sets of grandparents had given up and gone to bed before midnight.

"They missed him, but we watched it this morning and had the excitement all over again," she said.

"After the bangs of the fireworks there was another bang - a knock on our window, and it was three neighbours with a bottle of champagne, so we had a bit of a celebration."

Aidan and Amelia are due back later on Saturday.

"I had thought of baking a cake and putting a few Olympic flags on it, but I think now that it'll be more than that," she said.

More on this story