Paratrooper who lost both legs in war carries Olympic torch

In this handout image provided by LOCOG, Torchbearer Ben Parkinson carries the Olympic Flame in Doncaster followed by members of his regiment dressed in their military fatigues during Day 39 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on June 26, 2012 in Doncaster, England. The Olympic Flame is now on day 39 of a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles. LOCOG via Getty Images

Torchbearer Ben Parkinson carries the Olympic Flame on June 26, 2012 in Doncaster, England.
LOCOG via Getty Images

(CBS News) Ben Parkinson, a Paratrooper who was injured in Afghanistan in 2006 and lost both legs below the knee, carried the Olympic torch through his hometown of Doncaster, England, Tuesday.

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Parkinson's battlefield injuries also included a broken pelvis, four breaks in his back, a shattered arm and chest and a massive brain injury.

He was greeted by hundreds of people while he walked for almost half an hour, assisted by someone who supported his arm, reports the BBC.

"I'm just about managing to keep it together," said his commanding officer Major David Walker to the BBC. "Ben's tenacity and sheer courage and determination is absolutely amazing."

The Olympic Flame is now on day 39 of a 70-day relay involving 8,000 torchbearers covering 8,000 miles. It is to arrive at the Olympic stadium in London on July 27, opening day of the Games.


  • Camille Mann

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