FIONA Mackie played a starring role in the Paralympic Games opening peremony as she carried the flame on its journey from Stoke Mandeville to London.
The Eildon Road resident formed part of the relay after being nominated by Capability Scotland for her sterling efforts in helping the country’s disabled community.
Travelling south with her daughter Karen, she gathered with other torch bearers in Watford in the early hours of last Thursday morning, before setting off up Chalk Hill with the Olympic Flame.
She said: “We were taken by bus, and when it stopped, the hill I had to go up looked like the Loan and I didn’t think I would be able to get up.
“But when I got out and started I didn’t even notice it.
“Everyone was really nice and although it was early in the morning there were still people out cheering us on.”
Fiona, who was one of five Scots in her torch-bearing group, worked as a shop manager at Capability Scotland from 1994 until she retired two years ago and her daughter Donna took over.
She continues to volunteer full-time and as well as running and helping out in the shop, continually fund-raises for the charity by organising bus trips and days out for the community, manning stalls at events and identifying new sites for collection banks.
She said: “I’m so grateful to Capability Scotland for giving me this opportunity. It was a great experience and I hope it’s given them plenty of good publicity because they do a great job. The shops are just part of their work. They provide respite care, information and an advice line, there’s hundreds of different things.” Fiona returned home on Friday and admitted she has been hooked on the coverage of the Paralympics and the efforts of those taking part.
She added: “They’ve really shown me up. I’ve got all my faculties and these people have missing limbs and all sorts but look what they can do.
“They’re an inspiration.”