Why Chichester and Midhurst could take pride in Olympics ceremony finale

Adelle Tracey (orange vest) pictured during her Midhurst Grammar days
Adelle Tracey (orange vest) pictured during her Midhurst Grammar days

It was the best kept secret of all on a night at the Olympic Stadium when you newver quite knew what was going to happen next.

Who would be the one to light the Olympic cauldron at the end of the grand three-and-a-half hour opening ceremony?

Some thought it would be Roger Bannister, others wanted it to be David Beckham - then it looked like five-times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave would get the role as he ran into the stadium with the torch.

But in a twist no-one saw coming, Sir Steve passed the flame to seven of the country’s top up-and-coming athletes to light the cauldron between them.

And among them was a runner who learned her trade in Chichester and was educated at Midhurst Grammar, now Midhurst Rother College - Adelle Tracey.

The 19-year-old has featured in the Observer many times for local, regional, national and then international athletics achievements.

Such was the secrecy surrounding the details of the Olympic ceremony, it seems Adelle was not even allowed to tell her mum Suzanne she was playing such a huge, key part.

The seven talented young athletes were all nominated for the task by Olympic greats.

Adelle was nominated by Dame Kelly Holmes, whose On Camp With Kelly programme she has worked under for some time. Adelle has collected county, regional and national junior and senior titles in 400m and 800m, and has been in the top five UK rankings for the past six years. She won 800m silver for Great Britain in the European Youth Olympic Festival in Finland.

The teenagers, who have all shown promise in their disciplines, ran around the track together after being passed the flame by Sir Steve.

The group, was joined by the seven Olympic heroes - including Sir Steve - for the final lighting of the cauldron with 260 of Britain’s greatest sportsmen and women.

Adelle was over the moon at being selected for the important job of the night. She tweeted: “Thank=you Dame Kelly Holmes for giving me such an amazing opportunity. So grateful.”

Read more about Adelle’s big night in the Chichester and Midhurst editions of the Observer - out on Thursday.