Olympics 'have put sleeping giant of Hull on the map'
IT WAS an event that inspired a nation and made people proud to be British.
And civic leaders say despite the Olympics being in London, the legacy runs deep in the city of Hull – 200 miles away.
Councillor Terry Geraghty, portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said the London 2012 Olympics had made people outside Hull see the city for what it is.
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He said: "We have been a sleeping giant and people like Luke and Alex have drawn attention to Hull.
"When people come here now, they don't want to go.
"We have a lot to offer, with beautiful museums, the KC, the pier and the marina.
"Whoever dreamt up the idea of the torch going around the country is brilliant.
"It was a master stroke because it got everyone involved, more than you would have thought.
"It sparked off the enthusiasm for the Olympics because a lot of people were not interested before the torch started – they could not care less about the Olympics and thought it was a waste of money.
"Then, all of a sudden, we had this outburst of enthusiasm and it was fantastic to see local people from Hull carrying the torch.
"It was very important to this city, as it signalled our involvement in the Olympics and gave young people from here a dream to get involved in their sports, whether it be boxing, athletics or any other."
Mr Geraghty said not only had the city benefited from London 2012, but also youngsters were becoming excited about sports.
He said: "It was about stirring our young people's quest for gold in the future.
"A lot of people are now wanting to get involved and we are helping in any way we can."
Echoes Foundation founder Claire Stockton, boxing coaches Mike Bromby and Mike Gibbons and former Olympian Karen Briggs were among those who carried the torch through the streets of Hull.
Susan Pipes, a Special Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast who suffers from Down's syndrome, carried the Paralympic torch on its final journey to London.
Ms Pipes MBE, of north Hull, helped bear the flame through Harrow, hours before the opening ceremony began after being nominated by Special Olympics Great Britain on behalf of Lloyds TSB.
The talented athlete swept the board at the 1995 Special Olympics winning five gold medals, and five years later she received an MBE for her dedication to sport.
"It was a dream come true," said the 38-year-old. "It was a brilliant feeling carrying the Paralympic torch."