Double Olympic celebration for siblings
One family will enjoy a double celebration this summer after a brother and sister were both selected for Olympic duties.
Jessica Maclean, 14, from Wimbledon Chase, was nominated by a friend for her commitment to sport, despite having suffered with scoliosis of the spine and a long term heart condition.
Meanwhile her brother Sam, 17, a student at Raynes Park High School, has been selected to be an Olympic ball boy at Wimbledon.
Miss Maclean, a student at Nonsuch High School, is captain of the hockey team, a member of the under 15 Wimbledon AFC football team and plays tennis and athletics.
Forced to wear a back brace daily, which she can remove during sport, Miss Maclean is due to have a major spinal operation later this year.
Her mother, Liz Maclean, said: "They wanted to operate earlier but when they found out she was carrying the flame they said it could be later.
"We are so proud of them both - even if we didn't get Olympic tickets, we still have Olympic children".
The young sportswoman, who was diagnosed with a heart condition at a young age causing her heart to spontaneously race, was often rushed to hospital throughout her school life - a condition she recently underwent an operation to correct - but has never let her condition get in her way. On being nominated Jessica said: "I have always believed in myself and told myself that I could do anything if I tried hard enough and this has helped me to get where I am today.
"I have always enjoyed sport and despite being diagnosed with Scoliosis (a spine condition) and SVT (a heart condition) I have been determined not to let anything stop me achieving my dreams of playing and achieving in sports."
However Jessica will not be running with the Olympic torch when it passes through Merton on July 23, but half an hour away in Lewisham.
Former Olympic champion Ray Stevens and Haydon the Womble have also been ousted from the borough and told to run in Kent and Sutton.
In fact none of the torchbearers running through Merton are actually from the borough.
Mrs Maclean said: "We are quite upset, considering her address is in Merton, that she’s running in Lewisham.
"We would much prefer to be in Merton because obviously we live here.
"We will support the Merton flame anyway, but is such a shame that she’s not running in Merton."
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