When Limavady couple Leanne Scott and Stephen McIlmoyle tie the knot this summer, you’d think the Olympic Games would be the last thing on their minds. But think again!
Their wedding is on the same day as the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony, on July 27. And when the Olympic torch reaches the stadium in Straford, it will light up the couple’s big day in an “extra special” way.
For Leanne and Stephen will both have already carried the torch - they’ve both been selected as torchbearers on June 4.
“It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said 25 year-old Leanne, who will take part in the torch relay in Derry.
The couple nominated each other after hearing about it locally. Leanne nominated Stephen because of his strength and courage through some tough personal times, including the loss of a friend. Despite everything, she says, “he still proposed”.
“I thought that was extra special,”she said.
Stephen, who will carry the torch in Greysteel, nominated Leanne for the amazing 21 years of work she has done with 2nd Limavady Girls Brigade, who she is an officer with. The 27-year-old said Leanne had also suffered personal loss, with both grandparents, who she was very close to, passing away within four months of each other.
They thought it would be fantastic if one of them was selected, but never imagined both would be chosen.
“My friend texted to say they had posted the names of the torchbearers online and our names were on there. We thought it couldn’t be right, but it was! We’d received emails the weekend before, but just hadn’t checked them. We couldn’t believe it,” said Leanne.
With wedding preparations finalised, the couple can’t wait until the Torch relay.
“I’m a bit scared, but good scared,” laughed Stephen. “I just hope I don’t drop it or fall!”
The happy couple say family and friends are delighted for them. So, to make sure their historic experience is part of their big day, the couple have included a light-hearted Olympic theme to their wedding, with guests seated at tables representing competing countries in the Olympics.
The couple say already they are lucky to have family and friends join them to celebrate their wedding, but being a part of Olympic Torch Relay will make it even more memorable.
“It will be great to tell our children and grandchildren, hopefully, all about it in years to come,” said Leanne, adding: “It’s extra special!”