Merton pair to carry the Olympic torch

A Merton schoolgirl and a Wimbledon actress are the only south Londoners to be picked for the honour of carrying the Olympic torch through the city on its way to Beijing.

Merton Council is proud Emily Giles, who goes to Wimbledon High School, will be representing Merton alongside Amara Karan – who appeared in The Darjeeling Limited alongside Hollywood stars Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman as well as staring in the hit comedy St Trinian’s – at the big event on Sunday 6 April.

Merton is one of the host boroughs and thousands of spectators are expected to descend on Wimbledon in 2012 to watch the Olympic tennis tournaments.

Emily, 13, said: “Being selected to help carry the Olympic torch for the Beijing Games means so much to me. With roots in China on my mother’s side and England on my father’s, I feel I can symbolise the links between these games and the next.

“I am striving to achieve my dream of participating in the Olympics as a badminton player one day in the future, and would consider the chance to participate and to show my support for the Beijing Games a great honour. Carrying the ongoing memory will help keep my Olympic dream alive.”

Amara, who is currently with the Royal Shakespeare Company playing Jessica in the Merchant of Venice and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew said: “I am delighted to be representing Merton and representing all the things the Olympic Torch represents, such as peace and unity. I am really excited about Sunday.”

Environment and Regeneration Director Lyn Carpenter said: “I am very proud that out of all the people across south London both the people chosen to carry the Olympic torch are from Merton.

“The torch relay runs from Wembley to Greenwich and I hope as many people as possible will turn out on April 6 to support both Amara and Emily.

“The handover of the Cultural Olympiad is scheduled for 17 September, once both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games have finished, and that will be a chance for everyone in Merton to get involved in the preparations for London’s Olympics in 2012, by becoming part of south London’s Cultural Festival.”