Diana, 99, selected as Britain's oldest Olympic Torchbearer

Diana Gould: chosen to carry the Torch

Diana Gould: chosen to carry the Torch

First published in Features by

DIANA GOULD already has the party of a lifetime to look forward to this year, but she’s just been invited to an even bigger one – the Olympic Torch Relay.

Diana will celebrate her 100th birthday on May 23 and, if that wasn’t good enough, she will now be one of just 8,000 people to carry the London 2012 Torch months later.

Diana is the oldest Torchbearer, with her nomination made by granddaughter Alexandra Antscherl, through Lloyds TSB’s nationwide search.

Diana was put forward not just because of her positive outlook on life, but becaus, at 99, she runs exercise classes in the retirement flats where she now lives in North West London.

“It is an important honour for me to be selected to carry the Olympic Torch – it really is a wonderful, wonderful feeling that people think I am good enough for it,” she said.

“My mum would have been very proud, and it is turning out to be quite a big year for me.

“I know my family are organising a big party and, soon after it, it will be the Olympics. But 100 is only a figure – I am good and healthy, except for the odd bit of rheumatism.

“I do a lot of reading, do a lot of puzzles, play a lot of Scrabble and talk a lot of nonsense - and that’s the secret to living to 100. I am a bit of a chocoholic, though.”

Three times a week, Diana – a keen badminton player in her younger years – holds her exercise classes, which entails stretching, reaching, bending and hand-eye co-ordination.

And, despite reaching 100, and qualifying for a tele-message from the Queen, Diana isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

“I teach the class to old ladies, but saying that I am old enough to be their mother. I do it to keep my mind and their minds alert,” she added.

“And, with the class and the other things I do, I keep myself busy.

“I think the whole family will gather for the Torch Relay and that is going to be great.”

As the only national presenting partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB is bringing the excitement of the Games and Olympic Flame closer to you. Find out what they are doing in your community and who is carrying the Flame at lloydstsb.com/carrytheflame

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