OLYMPIC torch bearer Liane Keris John has spoken of the pride she felt when she carried the flame through the streets of her home town.
Liane, aged 27, of Victoria Road, ran the first 300 metres of the Port Talbot leg of the relay from Margam to Taibach on Saturday before joining the other runners on the official tour bus.
She told the Magnet: “It was incredible, brilliant. The support we had was amazing – the weather helped – and I was so proud that I was the only torch bearer in Port Talbot to run through their home town.
“It was nerve wracking at first, but I slowed down to savour the experience which was a fantastic honour – and I didn’t drop the torch!”
Liane had been expecting to mark the occasion with a special meal out, but her family and friends had other ideas and threw a surprise party for her with around 100 guests.
“It was great,” she said. “My jaw is still aching from smiling so much!”
Thousands of people lined the streets to cheer on Liane and her fellow torch bearers, 20 of whom carried the torch through Margam, Port Talbot, Briton Ferry and Neath before moving on to Swansea.
Neath Port Talbot Council leader Ali Thomas said: “This was a wonderful event, and to see so many people coming out to support the torchbearers was truly an incredible sight.
“I was privileged to meet all the torch bearers beforehand, and their stories are heart warming. This was a once in a lifetime event, and the people of Neath Port Talbot certainly gave the Olympic Torch Relay one of the warmest welcomes anywhere.”
Organisers say everyone heeded advice and there was minimal disruption.
Russell Ward, head of partnerships and community development, said: “Everybody joined in with the atmosphere of the event, and we would like to thank everyone for the way they responded.”