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London 2012: Torchbearer Alex Staniforth inspires youth

Alex Staniforth is a teenager with a mission. A mission to climb Everest one day - although a dream that will have to wait until after he carries the Olympic flame through Chester.

The 16-year-old has already broken records, becoming the youngest person to do the Three Peaks Challenge solo - only two years after discovering his passion while on a trip to the Lake District in 2010.

Alex, of Tarporley, said: "I still recall that feeling of walking through the gates after 21 hours and feeling absolutely dreadful but elated; it's probably the best memory of my life.

"I get a feeling of isolation and adventure; you see some amazing scenery and have some amazing times with your friends."

During the Three Peaks Challenge, where climbers walk the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales, he combined his passion with fundraising, raising £1,700 for a conservation charity and Cancer Research, in memory of his grandfather and aunt.

Everest

Nominated by a friend's mother, he said it was an enormous honour to be carrying the torch.

"Last December I got an email that I had been chosen and nearly jumped off my chair.

"I would not have believe it a year ago; I wouldn't have believed this could ever happen to me.

"If I can achieve my goals, inspire people and raise money at the same time it's a great experience for me."

Alex's next big peak in preparation for Everest is Mont Blanc next year, the highest mountain in Europe.

"My parents have giving me the encouragement I need.

"I chose Mont Blanc as a benchmark to Everest and my goal is to raise £1 for every metre I climb."

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