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Hero soldier among Olympic torchbearers in Enfield

Published Tuesday, 20 March 2012

An inspirational soldier who nearly died after losing both legs and an arm in a Taliban bomb blast in Afghanistan will carry the Olympic Torch through Enfield on 25 July.

Residents will be able to see the torch entering Enfield at Frien Barnet Road at 3.14pm before it makes its way to Haringey around two hours later.

Jack Otter will be one of the people carrying the torch through Enfield. As a soldier for the British Army serving with 2 Rifles, in September 2009 he was on patrol in Afghanistan when an IED (improvised explosive device) was detonated by the Taliban.

Jack lost both his legs and his left arm as well as other injuries in the explosion and at the time he was only the fifth surviving triple amputee in the UK. Currently wheelchair bound, he has undergone nearly 30 operations to repair the damage sustained in the explosion.

Whilst in Selly Oak Hospital he contracted pneumonia and has since had to  overcome a series of complications including  several bouts of infection and further amputation. Unfortunately, nearly three years on, he is still suffering setbacks and has more surgery planned for this week.

With every set back he is forced to start his rehab all over again and despite everything that has happened, Jack continues to look forward. His new target is to walk on prosthetic legs with the Olympic Torch on 25 July.  Even with bandages to his legs and painful infections, in April 2011 he undertook a tandem sky-dive raising £2500 for charity.  Cage diving with great whites in South Africa and skiing in Colorado are just a couple of activities he has undertaken to challenge himself since his life changing injuries.

The streets along the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, which can be viewed here, gives street-by-street details and proposed start times for when the Olympic Flame will travel through Enfield. Residents living in and around
Enfield can find out when it will be travelling along their nearest high street, through their town square or past their local village shop.

The Torchbearers confirmed to carry the Flame today include those that were successful through the public nomination processes run by LOCOG and the Presenting Partners, Coca Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung. LOCOG has endeavoured to slot all community Torchbearers within an hour of their nomination address so family and friends can cheer them on. Each Torchbearer will wear a white and gold uniform which been designed by adidas.

Enfield Council leader, Cllr Doug Taylor, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the Olympic Torch to Enfield and I’d urge residents to come out in force and cheer it on its way.

“The London 2012 Games are a massive deal for London and we’ll do everything we can to help make this celebration of sporting excellence a success.

“As a torchbearer Jack Otter is an inspiration to us all, the way he has dealt with such a significant setback is a credit to him and shows what can be achieved through, courage, determination and an iron will to succeed, qualities that Olympic athletes from around the world will need if they are to achieve glory this summer.

Jack Otter said: “"It is an honour and a privilege to be a part of the Olympic Torch Relay and represent the armed forces, especially those injured in the line of duty."

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